My Experience With Birth Control: The Good & Mostly BAD Symptoms

My Experience With Birth Control: The Good & Mostly BAD Symptoms

When my boyfriend and I started dating I thought it would be a good idea to start taking birth control. Being a young teenager, I definitely did not want to get pregnant…nor did I want the stress of thinking I was pregnant. So when I was 18 years old I went to the doctor and got on the patch (aka ortho evra birth control). I stayed on it for nearly six years.

*Please note that Birth Control is the only continuous prescription I have ever taken (in my entire life).

After being on birth control for a few months I started noticing some changes. At the time I didn’t see the correlation, but now that I look back, most of these changes were more than likely all related to being on birth control.

Here are some changes I experienced with birth control (specifically ortho evra):

Negative Symptoms:

  • Headaches: I literally NEVER got headaches before starting birth control. However, after I started ortho evra I got killer headaches all the time!  At the time, I thought it was due to me getting older, but now I believe that birth control was the cause of my headaches.
  • Blurry Vision:  I noticed that my vision would get blurry from time to time after I started taking birth control.
  • Twitching in thigh area and upper eye lid: When I told my doctor about this she brushed it off like it was nothing serious and said it was unrelated to the birth control. I am 95% positive that the twitching WAS related to the birth control because I never had twitching like that (before starting birth control), and I haven’t experienced it since I stopped taking it.
  • Nausea several times a month
  • Weight gain: I gained about 6 pounds but I probably needed to gain it anyways. The reason why I know the weight gain is attributable to the birth control is because I lost 6lbs after stopping!  All this time I thought it was because I was getting older.
  • Dryer skin: After about year 5 of being on birth control my skin started drying out. After I decided to stop taking birth control, my skin was much more lubricated and actually became a little too oily for my taste. But hey, it’s better than having dry skin!
  • Spider veins: My mother has spider veins all over her legs, but I never got them until I started taking birth control. Since I stopped taking birth control it seems as though the spider veins are gradually disappearing. I also haven’t gotten any new ones since I stopped taking BC.
  • Cellulite: During the time I was on birth control I only weighed 108 pounds. When I started noticing cellulite on my upper thighs it freaked me out! How could someone SO small get cellulite? It was only a little bit, but it bothered me. After I stopped birth control, my thighs got smaller and the cellulite went away, thankfully.
  • Anxiety: I used to get panic attacks like crazy on birth control. Granted I do still get them from time to time, but they are never as bad as they were when I was on birth control.
  • Dark circles under my eyes:  I’ve been genetically blessed with a hollow under eye area so I already have dark under eye circles to begin with.  After being on birth control for nearly 6 years the circles under my eyes seemed to have worsened (which makes sense due to the increase in toxins in my body).
  • No energy: I always felt tired.

Positive Symptoms:

  • Larger cup size
  • Clear skin! No more acne!

See how the TEN negatives outweigh the TWO positives!?

I decided that after all the symptoms I was experiencing, and factoring in the long period of time I had been forcing synthetic hormones in my body…. I thought it would be a good idea to give my body a chance to rest and detox. Plus I did not want to get cancer, or develop a tumor due to the high estrogen levels and the rest of the synthetic chemicals they put in the drug. I had been on birth control for a little over 6 years so who knows what could have happened if I stayed on it for another year or longer!

I stopped taking birth control a few months prior to my 24th birthday. I have been off birth control for about 4 months.

Here are some of the detox symptoms I have experienced:

  • Bad headaches
  • Feeling REALLY sick for the first 2 months – Flu like symptoms and feeling very tired.
  • Brain Fog: It was hard to concentrate at times.
  • Increased blurry vision
  • Difficulty breathing: After about a month of being off birth control, for about 2 weeks, I had hard time breathing. And this is coming from a person who exercises on her elliptical at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. For those 2 weeks I couldn’t even walk up two flights of stairs without feeling like I was going to die.  I’m still skeptical if it was related to the birth control. It was either that or, it could have been an upper respiratory infection. I was seriously about to go to the doctor, but luckily things went back to normal after a couple of weeks.
  • Weight Loss at month 3 ½: I lost about 6 pounds and my clothes were fitting very loosely.
  • Decreased cup size at month 3 ½
  • Acne like crazy at month 3
  • Hair loss at month 4: My hair has been shedding like crazy lately and it’s much thinner. I can’t notice the hair loss by looking at it in the mirror, but I can tell by wrapping my fingers around it. It seems to be falling out in random places (as I do not have any bald spots). After searching the internet for similar cases I found this to be quite normal after stopping birth control. There is a name for the condition. It is called: telogen effluvium (but it’s not only related to birth control). When you stop taking birth control, your body goes into shock and this is what causes telogen effluvium. It is a temporary form of hair loss due to the abrupt change in hormone levels in your body. Once your hormones are balanced again, your hair will grow back (more than likely). Unfortunately, it can take somewhere between 6 months and a year for your hair go back to normal. Sometimes it can take even longer. Some people are going back on birth control to stop the hair loss but I would advise against this. I will wait for my body to rid the synthetic toxins and re-balance itself, and then hopefully my hair will grow back to the way it used to be. I can already see tiny hairs growing on the top of my head so I think that’s a good sign.

I think it’s too early for me to experience the positive symptoms of ending my use of birth control because my body is still in the detox mode. It has only been 4 months since the halt. I’ve read that some doctors say it will only take a month or two for the birth control to completely leave your system, but I believe this to be untrue. Maybe it’s different for everyone.  I think in about a year the toxins will completely be out of my body, and my body and mind will be in a healthier, more energized state.

I know that there’s a much higher chance of becoming pregnant now but I would much rather risk it to be healthy and cancer free!

Have any of you experienced the same symptoms as me? I would love to hear your input. 🙂

Here is some additional information about birth control:

According to the Discovery Health website, in 2002, it was reported that nearly 11 million women in the United States use birth control. I’m not sure what the numbers are for 2011, but I’m 90% positive that the number is exceedingly higher.

I think birth control is good idea in theory but the reality is birth control, along with many other pharmaceuticals,  are destroying our bodies and causing health problems we never had to begin with. We’re slowly poisoning ourselves to death with unnecessary drugs that our bodies and livers aren’t technically capable of handling.  I wish doctors were more trustworthy and compassionate, I wish they were less greedy, and I wish they did not prescribe you every medication under the sun every time you have an issue with your body. There ARE natural birth control methods there ARE holistic approaches to everything. Our bodies are capable of healing themselves with the help of a healthy diet and a stress-free environment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my post. 🙂

P.S. Please subscribe to my blog if you would like updates on new posts.




February 17, 2012

Some of you have been asking me for an update. So here it is:

It’s been about one year and 2 months since I stopped taking birth control, and I feel great! I no longer have headaches, no longer have weird twitching in my muscles, no longer have brain fog, no longer get horrible panic attacks, and am no longer losing massive amounts of hair. My hair is starting to grow in a lot; I can tell because there are tiny hairs all over the top of my head! The only problem I continue to have
is acne, but it has definitely subsided greatly.  It’s slowly getting better.  I have faith that it will eventually go away.

Anyways, I am tremendously happy I stopped taking birth control, and hope that this post gives you encouragement to, as well.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you all for your support! xoxo

This article has 197 comments

  1. This was very interesting to read! Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m on birth control for 7 years now and I am also thinking about getting off of it. Back then I started to take it because my hormones were very unbalanced – too many stress hormones made me gain weight, so with the birth control I was able to balance it again and lose weight. Looking back now I believe, that taking the birth control pill also had a bad side effect. Since I take it I don’t feel as much energy and motivation as before. Many years I didn’t even think that it might come from the pill, but I am pretty sure that it does. For now I will keep taking it, just because I am scared that it will mess up my hormones again, but as soon as I’m finished with university (and all the related stress) I will stop it. I totally agree with you that you never know what effects on health those pills can have. It’s actually a bit scary how much change a little tiny pill like that can bring to your body.

    • You were on birth control for seven years! That’s one of the longest i have heard of. I am sure you are taking good measures to avoid all the possible side effects. I have read this blog written by Ash, it’s very important and will be helpful.

      • I was on b/c for 19 years. I have only been off for 8 months. I WILL NEVER go on it again. Hair loss has just stopped. I have lost at least one third already. Acne just stopped on my face…it is still on my back and chest. I gained weight which is fine…BUT I work out 5 x a week (hard core swimmer/runner) and CANNOT lose the weight off my stomach. My moods have subsided a little however I still become emotional often. (the first 2 weeks off I thought I was going to kill someone!!) Migranes are now few and far between. I was also on yasmin. BEWARE.

        • I was taking the generic brand tri-sprintec for 3 years. DO NOT do this to yourself ladies. This pill is sold in Target for $9 . The pill made me dizzy, nauseous, severely depressed, gave me belly fat, lump in one breast, angry then crying, extremely dark under eye circles, eye jumping, headaches,yeast infections every month and acne.

          Now I have stop using this pill since October 31, 2012 (6 months) And since then my face has been hideous . I want to hide. My acne increased. I never had acne like this before I mean cystic, black heads and white heads. My face is covered in bumps and black spots. This is making me so depressed. How long is this going to last for I don’t want to live my life everyone is like come outside I am like “no”. I don’t want to waste a year on my life because of acne. this is a waste of my 20’s. I tried zenmed, herbal medication, creams and soaps nothing helps and I believe the make up makes it worst. I have been using tea tree oil but it only dries out the skin and makes some of the scabs peel off.

          I am trying not to take Yaz but I need my skin to clear up quickly. I HATE b/c. I feel as though I am cursed.

          Does anyone know how long this will last?

          • Bumpy,

            I highly recommend to consult with an Aesthetician (skin care specialist) in your area regarding your skin. Find one that has experience with acne. You should also check this website www. There is a lot of valuable info on their site. How do I know this? Well, I am an Aesthetician that has had acne since I was 11 and I am 40 now. I am also a certified acne specialist. Birth control did not help my acne so I am curious to see what my skin does coming of bc. I am about 3 weeks post stopping bc after being on it for 25 years – yikes! Lots of bloating, ovary pain and one day of bring very sick with a splitting headache. I am using a progesterone cream twice daily to offset the fact that I was on a high estrogen bc. I am going to do a 7 day juice detox to help flush my system also. Best wishes to you!

  2. Hi Greenderella! 🙂

    Thank you for commenting. It’s crazy how birth control has so many different side effects depending on the person. I would definitley have to agree with you about the energy factor though. I do think I had less energy when I was taking birth control, and I still do since my body is still detoxing. I will have to add that to my post.

    I stopped taking birth control a few months after graduating from college and I very glad I did. But I definitley agree with you: if you’re still in school, I would wait just because you don’t want the added stress of possibly being pregnant.

  3. Excellent post. I have never taken birth control pills. I am at the age now that I know longer worries about unwanted pregnancies. With a lot of conventional medicine it seems like the negative outweigh the positive. I love your story. I think you are one of the very few that actually pay attention to how their body really react to certain meds. You are able to explain every change precisely. Sometimes the natural approach is definitely the best. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Awe, thank you Lady T! I appreciate your input.

  5. Hi

    I recently became concerned that after taking birth control for almost 5 years, I started having increased bruising and superficial veins on my legs which my mom has no hx of having. Are you finding with time that they are disappearing a bit?

    It also doesn’t help that I’m in Nursing and have to stand around -_- But i figure with the job, the hormones were just accelerating the process. I value my legs highly and last thing I want is for my legs to look like a bunch of road maps.

    • Hi Krystal!

      Thanks for visiting my blog. Wow, that’s odd that you’ve been getting increased bruising.

      I’ve never gotten superficial or varicose veins before, but I do have spider veins on my legs. From my experience, the spider veins on my legs have dramatically lightened, and I have not gotten any new ones since I stopped taking birth control. They are not completely gone but they have faded quite a bit. 🙂 I hope this gives you hope!

      Also, if you are doing a lot of standing, I would recommend getting some compression stockings (or support hose). I’ve never purchased this type of hose before but I have heard it works wonders at preventing unwanted veins from popping up on your legs.

      Good luck!

  6. Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get something done.


    • Hi Kelly!

      Thank you for commenting! It seems like our symptoms are very similar.

      I agree with you 100% about the government trying to control our population. Instead of slowing killing us with birth control and other meds, they should seriously consider offering us a tax break or some sort of incentive for having only one or two children. It might actually work if they help pay for a hysterectomy. Or maybe they should have child limit policy like China does. I doubt that will happen though; they’d rather “secretly” kill us all with medication and vaccinations…sigh.

  8. Hi Ash,

    So happy that I found your blog concerning the side effects of being on/off the pill. Thank you so much for writing about this! I have been scouring the internet for some relief and possible answers about my current hair loss. I gotten off the pill around Nov/Dec 2010 and my hair has been falling out so much now and I just couldn’t figure out why.

    I really think it is because I stopped taking the pill. Being on the pill had also caused me to have depression, which I had tried to keep under control for the years that I were on the pill. I even took antidepressants because it gotten so bad, but never put two and two together. The doctors I went to never even suggested that maybe it was the birth control that were causing all these issues!

    I finally pieced everything together bc there were times when I would run out of the pill and stop taking them for maybe 1-3 months before finally having time to getting my doctor’s approval for a refill, that my hair would fall out more than usual. And all this time, I thought it was my antidepressants causing the hairloss! I am really upset at myself for not doing more research about BCP and am afraid that my hair loss might be permanent now…

    I have eradicated all forms of medication from my body and am hoping that in a year my hormones will balance itself out and that my hair will grow back. I hope your post reaches more people having the same issues and hopefully will educate/prevent others from taking the BCP. If I had known this from the start, I would have NEVER EVER taken them and saved myself and my body from all of these horrible side effects.

    • Hi Veronica!

      You are too kind! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad that you found my post useful, and I’m glad to hear you discontinued taking birth control and other medication.

      I have been reading about natural ways to rebalance hormone levels, and have found that burdock root (a plant in the thistle family) and dandelion tea can help tremendously. They basically work by eliminating toxins (like synthetic hormones) from your body. I recently started taking an organic burdock root supplement and I drink dandelion tea every day now. I’m hoping that it will speed up the repair process, and help rebalance my hormones. I plan to post information about this in the near future after I do some more research.

      I wish you the best of luck on your road to recovery! 🙂

  9. I just got out of the bathroom stressing over the increase in spider veins showing up on my legs from my ankles to my thighs…and I just picked up my new pack of Ortho-Tricyclen….and so not gonna take it anymore. I’ve been on birth control for 9 years pretty much consistently. My mother was also on the pill for years and has horrible spider & varicose veins. I sometimes have anxiety issues and moodiness and my gyno suggested I try an antidepressant for the last 14 days of my cycle…yay! Another medication:/ Didn’t like the idea at all b/c of all the horrible side effects of anti-depressants so I have no intention of doing that. But yes, I wish doctors were less quick to prescribe meds and rather, take a whole body wellness approach and assess each individual. THANK YOU for your blog and for sharing your experience…I am going to quit my BC and start detox right away…very hopeful about getting my body back to normal as I’m sure the BC is the cause of several problems for me.

  10. Hi Ash! I stumbled upon your blog while ‘Googling’ information on birth control side effects. I stopped using my BC after about 7 years on and off because I too, wanted that junk out of my body and the negatives far outweighed the positives. I’m also a student of naturopathic medicine, and I recently learned in one of my nutrition courses how BC pills inhibit absorption of lots of key nutrients, such as vitamin C and ALL the B vitamins! I stopped in August of 2010 and like you, 3 months later I had the worst acne. Never had a problem with acne before BC, but I do now, and it hasn’t cleared up yet. I wanted to ask if you’ve noticed any improvement in your skin after stopping BC, or if it’s still not back to normal after 4 months.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog – it’s always refreshing to know there are people out there like me who are tired of the toxins and chemicals in and around us. I also have a blog about my journey through medical school, I would love if you checked it out sometime! 😀

    • Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for stopping by! That’s so awesome that you’re studying naturopathic medicine. 🙂 I will definitely check out your blog! I’m sure it will be very interesting to read!

      I had no idea that birth control can prevent absorption of nutrients. Thank you for sharing that info. That’s just another reason to stop taking BC! 🙂

      To answer your acne question: My skin is still not back to normal but it seems to be slowly improving. It seems like my acne breakouts are the WORST a week or so prior to my period. I did a lot of research on acne after stopping birth control and a few websites say that your body needs time to rebalance hormone levels and rid toxins (which is why acne is so bad after you stop taking BC). The websites suggest taking a burdock root supplement and drinking organic dandelion tea. I’ve been trying to drink dandelion tea every day and I’ve been taking burdock root supplements twice daily, and they seem to be helping (or at least I think they are). They are known for detoxifying the blood and balancing hormone levels. I have noticed that if I don’t take the burdock root or drink the tea for a couple of days, my acne worsens. Hopefully after a year or so, I won’t have to rely on herbs for controlling my acne. I plan on trying milk thistle too. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

      Good luck on your journey through medical school! 🙂

      • I’m glad to hear your acne is slowly improving. If I knew what I know now, I don’t think I would have ever used BC in the first place! I think I will try the burdock root and dandelion tea – I have a botanical medicine course next quarter, so maybe I’ll be learning exactly what these herbs do! I know milk thistle is really great for the liver, but it’s a fat soluble herb, so you can’t get the active plant constituents out of it if you decide to take it as a tea. From what I’ve heard, you’ll want to make sure you ingest some fat as well when you take it.

        I’ve been trying to manage my skin with supplements and dietary changes, along with a few herbs as well. I’ve found that calcium bentonite clay makes a really nice clay mask which I use once a week, and every night before going to bed, I’ve been using apple cider vinegar as a toner, and drinking about a teaspoon every day. It seems to be helping – super stinky though! 😀 Thanks for all your helpful suggestions Ash!

  11. hey i have been on the depo injection now for 9 months and gained 16 pounds my boyfriend has noticed that i had been very short tempered and hot headed about small situations i also have experienced panic attacks and migranes ans still get blurred vision and faintness at times, i was thinking of coming off of the injection and allowing my body to recover to its natural state and see if the weight will shift as i exercise regularly and eat well but just stay at the same weight :(.

    • Hi Steph,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! When I stopped taking birth control I miraculously lost weight without even trying. Maybe you’ll have the same luck that I did! 🙂

  12. Before I went on birth control (for medical reasons), I never had menstrual cramps. During birth control? God, my insides made me cry once a month. It was terrible – I hadn’t experienced that kind of pain before. On the plus side, it let me know my period was coming. Now that I’m off birth control, the cramps are gone. Needless to say, I kind of don’t know when I’m getting my period now, but that’s OK. I’m unsure what I’m going to do for birth control when I get married in a few months, though…

  13. Hi Ash,
    Just to say your article is more about provoking people into going THROUGH the ‘coming off the pill’ HICCUPS than, and realizing that you’re body WILL go into withdrawal. To many other articles on this subject are all about “aaaragh, coming off is awful – quick run back to the doctors!”

    So many doctors waffle on about the AWFUL side effects of coming off more than the x20 worse side effects of being ON the pill.

    I had an exceptionally high metabolism at 21. And clinically underweight. Went on it to put on weight, and I was a late starter in my sex life (quite shy at the time).

    I am aware I want my libido up and my moods leveled. Not crying for pathetic reasons every other day. Telling my boyfriend why I’m not sure he loves me. Paranoia is awful.

    I’m being quite positive. The pill makes our bodies feel in permanent pregnancy hormone mode. Hence the lack of sexiness and not wanting to procreate. LOL I’m being positive because April of 2010 I went off Femodene 21 for a month. After taking it for a few months after breaking up with someone.

    Within days, I had a high libido, horny (LOL), and not at all dry DOWN there. Sunny disposition, I felt LIKE me, after being on Femodene for two years and Microgynon for nearly 10. So if my body can change THAT quick from 10 years of THAT, only a year ago…then I’m hoping it won’t take to long for my cycle to come back.

    If needs be, condoms, if needs be I’ll get IUD (just find a doctor who’s not to old fashioned or not up in implanting them in uterus’ that haven’t has children.
    How many women’s personalities and moods have been changed by these drugs that make you dependent on synthetic hormones.

    I realise it takes months of sacrifice to REALLY know the truth and see what a detoxed ME is really like :).

  14. My mum is a nurse and always went on about getting a Vitamin B complex and folic acid supplements when you’re a menstruating woman. Ironic then that the BIRTH CONTROL zaps the Vitamin B from our systems. (Wonders why energy drinks like Red Bull sell so well).

    I’m intrigued to see what my absorption of vits is like post pill.
    Might keep a diary.

  15. I’m glad I found this site, after searching a lot on the internet.
    The last few years i’ve been having a lot of problems with my health, and they can’t seem to find out what is causing it. I have dizzy spells, I have severe mood swings, i get panic attacks for no clear reason, I sometimes had a blurred vision which really freaked me out, I developed hypoglycemia (found out a few months ago), I suffer from low blood pressure (i read that BC seems to higher your blood pressure, but every now and then i read about people who suffer from low blood pressure and blame it on BC). And the most annoying thing of all : I lack energy… Some days it’s just like I can’t go forward, everything is too much.

    I realize now that this may all come from BC (have been taking it for 7 years now) and I truly want to stop, but I’ll have to keep on going a few more months…
    If I could, I would stop tomorrow, but I’m having this big trip in october to Florida, and I do not want to risk my trip with suddenly having my periods, or having detox problems.
    I’ll have to push through and keep in mind that my symptoms probably are caused by the BC, so there’s no need to panic. I’ve been taking it for seven years, three extra months won’t hurt that much I guess… So hoping that the day I come back from I trip, I can stop taking it, and can undergo the detox with my mind at ease.

    Thanks again for your site, although I know that everyone’s body reacts differently, at least it shows how my body could react, and that I should wait until after my trip.

    • Hi Ruth! I’m glad you found my post useful. I hope everything runs more smoothly for you after you discontinue birth control. Please stop by again and share your detox symptoms with us after you stop taking it. Everyone’s input has been very helpful, as I’m sure yours will be too. I hope you have a safe trip to Florida!

    • Ruth, I have been struggling with the same thing. Seeing double, blood sugar crashes, low blood pressure and faiting upon standing. Any advice?

      • Hi JP,

        First of all, I’m so sorry to hear you’re suffering from these things, because I know how awfull you can feel because of it…

        From experience, I know that it’s also hard to give advice, because every person is different, and it’s not because one thing works for one person, that it will automatically work for someone else.

        But here’s my update on how i’m dealing with my symptoms.
        I stopped taking BC right after I came back from my trip, and after a few weeks I already started feeling better… The fog in my brain seemed to fade away, I felt like I was becoming normal again!
        As a side-effect of stopping BC (although not everyone will call this a side-effect), I also started losing weight, which was actually not good for me, because my blood pressure started to drop again.

        Since I wasn’t dating anyone when I stopped BC, I thought I could give it a one year try, to stop taking any kind of BC. But that turned out differently, since I met someone in January. Since I was feeling sooooo much better without my pill, I started looking for another kind of BC, and in agreement with my doctor, I started using the NuvaRing. All went well in the beginning, but when I got my first period while on the ring, it felt like an emotional rollercoaster.. (oh, just so you would know, when I stoppped taking the pill, my period became regular right away). By the time I got to the second ring, after one week, I had to take it out, because I was starting to feel all those strange things again like when I was using my pill.

        I figured out myself now, that no matter what I’ll use with hormones, I’ll keep having those side effects. Now I am seriously thinking about sterilization for me. I do not want to have children, and although at my ages this might sound drastic, I feel like it’s my only option left…

        As for the problems with my eye-sight : since I stopped taking the pill (beginning of november last year), I haven’t had any trouble with bad vision or anything.

        Blood sugar crashes => I have to keep myself on a strict diet, with avoiding all kinds of sugar. No cookies, candy, … Here we call them fast sugars, because you get instant energy. I only drink coffee, tea and water, nothing like soft drinks. I keep my intake of juices to a minimum (because fruit also contains a lot of sugar). I am the first to admit that it isn’t easy, and I still slip up once in a while.
        People tend to look strange at you when you tell them you avoid sugar, but I learned not to care about what others think, because I know how it can affect me in a very bad way. Have me drink a coke, and I’ll be in bed for two days feeling dizzy and feeling like i’m having a really bad hangover, without even drinking one bit of alcohol..

        The fainting when standing is probably from your blood pressure. I’m still struggling with that one. I seem to have a low BP anyway, so I have to watch out. Actually, the last three days have been really bad for me regarding my BP. I’m having my periods now, and that seems to cause an even lower BP then normal. I feel tired, my legs feel like they can’t hold my own weight, and I only feel like sitting in the couch all day long. I take three pills a day to help me keep my BP up, but it doesn’t work all the time. Drinking water which has more natural salt in it sometimes does the trick, or eating salty things.

        Although it’s not fun to live with, I’ll ‘survive’ the low BP, since I’m already happy that I learned to live with the hypoglycemia. That was the hardest part for me, and it still is, because I have to think about it everytime I eat something.

        If there is anything more you would like to know, or if you want some more details, please let me know!
        I know how miserable you can be, having these symptoms, and it’s hard to figure out how to deal with it on your own.

  16. Hello ash!
    Thank you for posting about the effects of stopping BCP We have a huge support site if anyone needs it, it’s important for us women to stick together in our time of healing. I’ve been on ortho tri cyclen for 7 month and off for 6 still dealing with anxiety, insulin issues and increase hair shed I’m finally over the nasty acne part of it now it’s more manageable. How are you feeling ash? And do you still get anxiety?

    • Hi there! Thank you for the wonderful support site. I’m sure it will be very useful to many visitors…I’m feeling much better since I stopped taking birth control. I’ve been off it now for nearly 10 months. I no longer feel sick, my hair doesn’t seem to be falling out as much anymore, and my anxiety has dramatically lessoned. The only major issue I still have is ACNE! It’s horrible. I still can’t seem to get my hormones back in balance, but I may need more time for that to occur. I mentioned in earlier comments that I have been taking burdock root and dandelion tea to help balance my hormones. They seem to be helping somewhat. I also recently started putting ground up milk thistle seeds in my smoothies, along with maca root powder to help with my hormonal acne. I plan to post more info about this later on; I’ve just been pretty consumed with working and miscellaneous matters. Thanks again for stopping by!

  17. Hi girls!
    I’d like to join the BCP-hate club.
    I’m 19 years old and I made the terrible mistake of accepting a dermatologist’s suggestion to take Diane35 to help me with my not so serious form of acne. First I took it only for like 3 days cause it gave me horrible reactions, I was really dizzy, nauseous, head spinning and all and a terribly low amount of energy, I could barely hold myself up on my legs. So I quit the pill. About two months later, my hair suddenly started to shed like never before, I wasn’t too worried at the time cause I thought it was just seasonal or something (it was autumn), but I would tell people about it, now and then. My cosmetician advised me to take them, she had taken them for 2 years and stopped them 4 months before, not having had any bad symptoms during or after the pill. So I took her advice, my hair stopped shedding in like a week or so, miraculously, just like that. Took them for 2 months, then got fed up with the mood swings, depression and lack of sleep and stopped taking them. About three and a half months later, the shedding started again, simultaneously with the skin breaking out, which I didn’t link to Diane35, but now I realize it’s actually that. Now it’s been 5 months and it’s still shedding, but I just try not to think about it, cause I also see some regrowth on top of my head, like 2-3 inches long strands, which don’t seem to fall out as well. So I’ll just hope it’s gonna stop sometime soon.

    On the other hand, I can give quite good news about the acne part. First I had a couple of more “aggressive” outbreaks after having had baby skin for a few months, but I kept changing the cleaning regimen so that the skin wouldn’t get used to it, always using natural products, and I have it pretty much under control. Mainly blackheads and occasional whiteheads, but nothing inflammatory. This is what I have been using:
    – tea tree oil facewash; burdock soap; calendula soap; clay-lavender-green tea soap; sulphur soap; salicylic acid facewash (nothing fancy, just low-concentration facewash that you can get from pharmacies or even supermarkets)
    – burdock extract, internally (didn’t do wonders, I still think the external treatment helped me more, but then again, we’re all different)
    – an isotretinoin cream, to unclog the pores (I used Isotrexin, but I think Retin-a and other similar stuff would work just as well)
    – occasionally, an aloe vera toner, as well as rosewater. VERY occasionally
    – A VERY IMPORTANT FACTOR!!! Natural colon detox. I’m taking this remedy that’s made of crushed herbs and seeds and all natural stuff once a day, will do it for about a month, it promises to really leave your colon clean after the treatment’s done. Better to spend some extra time on the loo (sorry for being that straightforward, hehe), than worrying about your toxins coming out through your SKIN, instead.

    For the hair issue, though, I haven’t found a remedy. I guess, just like you people said, that we need to allow our body to detox. Hope it doesn’t last more than a year though, cause my hair growing resources aren’t infinite, hehe. I took a hair growth supplement for 2 months, didn’t do much about the shedding, but apparently my hair grew faster. I’m using a “hairloss stopper” shampoo now, but it doesn’t really work. And people sound rather pessimistic on forums and so. Some even say it’s permanent. I hope it’s not, 2/5/10/a lifetime of hair loss would be quite a huge price to pay for just 2 months of treatment, if you ask me.

    I’d really like to hear more of your “hormonal detox” experience, girls. Ash, did your shedding stop or slow down in the meantime? I’d really like to hear some encouragement :p

    Sorry for the humongously long post, I hope it does help someone, though. All the best for you girls, may we all get rid of these awful drug’s effects in the shortest possible time!

    • LOL! I love that: the BCP hate club! Thank you for your tips Lane! I have also been taking a burdock root supplement to control my hormonal acne. It seems to be helping my acne, but not 100%.I also recently started putting ground up milk thistle seeds in my morning smoothies, along with maca root powder to help with my hormonal acne. The milk thistle cleanses and improves the health of your liver, and the maca root is supposed to help rebalance your hormones. I have only been taking milk thistle seed and maca root for about a week and half, so it’s too early to tell if they’re working yet.

      As for my hair, my hair doesn’t seem to be falling out as much anymore. I was also desperate when my hair was falling out and purchased a shampoo to help thicken my hair and promote growth: Avalon Organics, Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo. My hair is relatively thin, and since my hair was falling out, I was extremely desperate and purchased it. I can’t say it made my hair grow faster for sure, but it definitely thickened my hair up somewhat. My hair finally got to the point a month or two ago where it stopped falling out so much. HOPEFULLY I won’t have to deal with losing hair anymore now. Flaxseed and walnuts are also really great for your hair, skin, and nails because they contain those awesome omega fatty acids. I’m not sure if they’re helping with my hair, but my nails are a lot stronger now; so that probably means that something good will happen with my hair. 🙂 Again, thank you for stopping by. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  18. Still getting headaches – trying to keep hydrated and eating okay.
    Eyesight got worse, the blurrier after coming off three months ago. But thankfully in the past few weeks it’s not so obvious or as bad. Eyesight still not perfect.
    Teleogen Effluvium is apparent. In the past few weeks I’m loosing hair ALOT. Trying not to panic and telling myself it will pass, just try to treat your hair with tender care. Taking an evening primrose oil and agnus castus supplements, omega 3 oils and making sure I’ve not too much or too little iron in me.

    Only got nauseous in the first 2 weeks of coming off. My hypersensitive skin is still back. When my boyfirend touches my skin on certain parts of my body it’s actually painful. Have been like that for years now.

    Lost 7lbs in 2weeks coming off pill, appitite nose-dived, I had to remind myself to eat. Stomach must have shrunk. I felt fuller sooner. But for some reason I’ve put it back on. Mostly because I’m out of work and not able to but gluten-free foods to stop me bloating and craving WHEAT and sugary foods. I’m sure my weight will settle soon.

    Spider veins all over my feet and legs have gone, making me feel great about my legs. Cellulite is lightening up on my thighs and butt, something that I’ve had for a few years, which appeared even though my weight hadn’t gone up.

    Anxiety is crying once every two days. Really bawling. Thankfully not depression as the stuff I’m getting my knickers in a twist over are stressful things. But they are things you cannot do anything about, and my brain will not calm down or switch off. Alas this was a reason for COMING OFF THE PILL, I guess it gets worse before it gets better.

    My body is going through a bout of sebum dermatitis. It’s like a dandruff, but instead of flakes, it’s a gluey sticky feeling mostly around hairline and the crown that only SELSUN 2.5wv shampoo will treat. This with increased oiliness in skin and hair. Though I can deal with oily skin, as it’s UPSIDE is making the skin younger. My 21 year old oily skin , normalized up until 26, then it started to dry out.

    I am NOT going back on BCP. I’ve arranged a smear and after the results I’m going on the waiting list for IUD. Not the progesterone 5 years coil, but thr 10 year hormone free copper coil. That why i can get rid of the fear of having a baby yet. Libido went up at first when stopping BCP, it has levelled out.

    If needs be I’ll get hormones tested. Glad to say, days after coming off I had a pseudo period. Then 28 days later I had my first real one. And the next 28 days later. I’m aware I’m lucky. I hope with each one I normalize. And irrespective of hairloss, I’m hoping that will stop so I can get on with cultivating any new hair growth.

    Keep updating here folks.

  19. Hi again, girls! Just wanted to drop by to tell you a new “discovery” of mine. I don’t exactly know if it’s working or it’s just an impression of mine or good luck, but I started taking some licorice extract (not pills, but drops – you dilute it in water) like 3 or 4 days ago and have been shocked this morning, combing my hair and only having about eight or ten strands coming out. The hair loss seemed to be much less significant the past days too, but today was WOAH, like back in the good times! So yeah, I thought I’d share that, maybe it works for those of you who struggle with this issue like I do. 🙂 I don’t know how it’s gonna work long-term, and I’ll probably take breaks from it, cause it says you should use it continuously for 3-4 months and then have a break, but maybe I’ll try the lower and lower dosage-trick, see if it works. Much better than going on the pill again, anyway.

    Thanks for the tip, Ash, I’ll try to find a Biotin shampoo after I finish my current one. Maybe it helps with thickening up the hair 🙂

    Cheers and hugs!

  20. Lane:

    Be careful licorice is bad for people prone to migraines, so keep that in mind. Licorice does something in your body with testosterone that is a trigger but for people whom already suffer with NOT bad headaches but REAL MIGRAINES (nausea, aversion to light and sound etc).

    This is probably why it says to take licorice for only 3-4 months. The same sort of thing is on some alternative medicines like ginseng (which you should only take for 2-3 week stints).

    Testosterone does have a part to play with hair and our hormones.
    The pill killed my libido. It killed my natural (ahem)lubrication. My skin and body dried out.

    The pill will often create a protein that binds to the testosterone in women’s bodies and numb or dumb down the testosterone that gives us our differing libidos. This nasty protein is not created when NATURAL hormones are in our bodies. Only with the synthetic ones.

  21. I’d also recommend that silicone in shampoos and conditioners that coat the hair will also coat the scalp and build up. I think it’s better if you can try silicone free shampoos, so the plastic of the PVP and other ingredients can wash away and leave your scalp free of it.

    The will frizz a little from not being slicked down but it will get over it.

    I meant to ask people here. In my first 5 years of pill, I could not complain, but in the past 5 years I’ve noticed all my health problems worsen. What I mean to say is in the past and a half I’ve had 15 bouts of an UTI or Cystitis. Which mixed with low libido has made me feel less than sexy.

    Has anyone suffered with this recurrent UTIs?

  22. i have been on lo-ovral for the past 3 months and i noticed that my right eye is blurry off and on when i’m on the 21 active pills…but then it goes away when i’m on the 7 reminder pills. but it worries me a little that it’s only in one eye. and i feel a sort of pressure on that side of my head near my temple as well. I did have mirena for almost 3 yrs. I got it out 14 months ago and went through a horrible 9 month (or so) detox from it. I got on the pill bc i was bleeding very irregularly. now i’m thinking i need to stop taking this pill. but is it bad to stop it before the pack is finished?

    • Hi Holly! Most doctors would recommend that you finish taking the rest of your pills; however, if you believe your symptoms are worsening, then do what you feel is best for you. Having blurry vision can be frightening. I would stop immediately if it continues to worsen. BC isn’t worth distorting your vision!

      • Thanks for your reply! I read up on what would happen if I stopped the BC in the middle of the pack, and it seemed the worse that would happen is that my period would be thrown off cycle. I stopped the pills Monday….my period started Thursday (about 1.5 weeks early)…but my blurred vision has gotten a little better each day. And the pressure on that side of my head is almost gone. I did end up getting a migraine yesterday (Friday) and it lasted all day. I’m hoping that’s all that is wrong with my eye. If it keeps getting better and goes away, I’m not going to stress it. But my doc wants me to start Lupron shots for about 6 months b/c of “possible” endometriosis. She wants me on progesterone at the same time…ugh..not sure how much more hormones my body can take!

        • Hey Holly! I hope that your vision continues to improve. 🙂 If you feel uncomfortable taking additional synthetic hormones, I suggest “firing” your doctor, and finding a naturopathic doctor who can heal your body, and balance your hormones with the use of herbs (as opposed to man-made medication). There are several wondrous plants mother nature has provided us with that have the ability to regulate our hormones. Maca root, vitex, red clover, and numerous other herbs have the ability to regulate hormones. A naturopathic doctor can determine what will work best for you to get things back in balance -the natural way. If you’re interested, here is a website you can use to search for naturopathic doctors: . Good luck with whatever you choose to do. 🙂

          • So well put. All week I’ve been tiiknhng that there are so many things I don’t trust my 16 year old about (or do but might worry) Plan B though, I’d say bring it on. I want the way paved for smart choices (even if an accident or a less great choice preceded it).

  23. Hi,

    It’s been a little over a month since I stopped my birth control pill (BeYaz) because of the light cellulite that seemed to have formed on my upper thighs. I have a feeling its because the amount of estrogen was too much for my body, especially since I am Asian and probably hardly produce that much to begin with, and the extra hormones got stored in my fat cells. It isn’t visible when standing, but slight dimples form when I sit or move my skin in a certain way. You said that your cellulite dimished/went away after you stopped taking them. How long did it take?

    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Sarah! My metabolism is pretty fast, so the small amount of cellulite I got, went away after about 3 months of being off birth control (which is when I started losing weight). I would give it another 2 to 3 months. Hopefully then it’ll start disappearing! Good luck. 🙂

  24. I’m three months off my pill now. My blurry vision has not yet rectified.
    I’m wondering does the blurry vision become permanent damage – and I’ll have to eventually have an eye test. Or will it finally balance out again.

    Ash, how are you eyes and how many months are you off the pill now?
    Thank you.


    • Hi Kelly! I can’t testify for everyone, but my vision seems to be fine now…thankfully! I’ve been off birth control for about 10 months, and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.

      I was still getting the occasional blurry vision at month 3, so don’t you worry. It’s a normal detox symptom. I actually had an eye exam 3 months into stopping birth control, and the optometrist told me my eyes are fine.

      I would give it a few more months, and hopefully your vision will return back to normal. 🙂

      • I hope so Ash. I told myself that if after maybe 6-9 months I’d review my eyes. I fear if I got an eye test now and this blurry distance vision (luminous and lighted signs are impossible for me)that I’d get glasses that did SUIT me visually, but if my eyes DID improve internally by detoxing that somehow the glasses would be bad news becoming to longer suitable.

        Believe me when I say that before October 2010, and only after I switched to third gen Femodene (1year) then to Implant(to combat low libido) then came off 3 months later (daily headaches depressed and almost suicidal), then onto lower dose 3rd gen Marvelon to try to get libido and mind back. Then after blurry vision didn’t improve, I said ‘sod it!’ and came off.
        I am lucky to have gotton one synthetic period and thankfully a period 30 days later, and regular after that. Believe me when I say I never complained of blurry vision before.

        Been taking: Evening primrose oil, and Vitex (Agnus Castus supplement) to just give my hormones a kick.

  25. Am I the only one who has experienced the blurred vision in one eye? I had an eye exam when this started about 4 months ago.(i didn’t connect it to the BC, I thought my 10 yr old LASIK surgery was going bad). The eye doc said I was just a little far sighted in my right eye (i couldn’t focus well on things close up, like reading a book). What? overnight I’m farsighted in one eye and that’s normal?? idk about these docs! lol Of course I always fear the worst like a brain tumor, bleed, or stroke….I do have a history of migraines so I try to blow it off as that and my BC side affects.

    • Holly, I can’t testify to one eye. But my blurriness is heavier in one eye than the other. Hilarious since this came on rather quickly, was quite shocking. I was in an airport when I noticed it. I was looking at those luminious yellow signs for directions with black writting on. I COULDN’T READ THEM, but a recognised the SHAPE of the words and took a GUESS at what they read. I was so shocked I grabbed my fathers arm and said: Dad, I swear I cannot read that sign up ahead. I’m 33. He’s 57 and even he was worried.

      Yes it did worsen upon coming off pill. Which makes me think it WAS triggered by it. But I’m never going back on. It’s copper IUD (non-hormonal 10year one) for me now.

      • Kelly, Ash, and Holly, this is EXACTLY what happened to me! I went off bcp about eight weeks ago, and about four weeks ago I developed really blurred vision in one eye. I’d had Lasik two years ago and have been panicking that it was a waste, but now I am HOPING this will improve! I have also felt nauseous, dizzy, emotional, anxiety, and I have had muscle pain. 🙁 Are any of you starting to feel better?? I can’t wait to be myself again. . . .(And NO period, btw!)

        • My vision is getting better. I stopped taking the pill and after the next cycle it started to get better. I was having weird headaches just on my right side as well….like a painful throb in my temple area lasting about 3-4 seconds but painful. Then I’d have pressure behind my right eye too. I had an MRI and carotid ultrasound. I haven’t received official results from the doc since my follow up appt is in Jan, but the secretary said it was normal. So, idk. The headaches continued and even got worse after the vision problem cleared up. The doc started me on Topamx. It did nothing for me except mess up my short term memory and make me lose my appetite.
          Now I’m on Pamelor 25 mg. My headaches are gone. Vision is still good.
          I will not take BC again unless the benefits FAR outweigh the risks and side effects….and i’m not going to take a doc’s word for it. I’ll bring the Rx home before filling it and do my research. 🙂

        • Most of my symptoms have subsided. It’s been a little over a year since I stopped taking bc. The only symptom that continues to haunt me is hormonal acne. I have definitely gotten it under control, but it’s not super clear like it was when I was on bc. 🙁 I guess I’ll have to deal with that until my hormones balance out some more.

  26. Hey Ash! Thanks for your reply. So its been about 2 months and will be a little less than 3 by the end of October since I’ve been off. the pills. I think there is a slight decrease of cellulite on my legs, but it’s not totally gone (not really close to that). I guess I need to give it more time. Maybe another 2 months – though I guess that depends on the person.

    On your response you said you started to lose weight after 3 months and cellulite dimished. So do you mean that your body didn’t much changed before the 3 months?

    Sorry for almost asking the same question. I just want to make sure since when I grab the skin on my thigh I can still see the dimples…

    Thanks again!

    • That’s a good question. No, my body did not change much before the 3 months. I didn’t notice changes in my body, such as weight loss & diminished cellulite, until exactly 3 months being off BC. It was very strange, and it happened out of nowhere! I hope the same goes for you too.

  27. I’ve been off since end of June. I’m now almost 4 months off the pill now. Battling to try to get a smear test done in preparation for going on non-hormonal IUD.

    My boyfriend says that he can see the weight coming off. And I don’t have scales. I haven’t changed my day too much. I wasn’t shifting any weight in the past year and I walked 5-7 miles several times a week whilst out of work.

    Now it seems to be dropping off with little effort AND I’m FINALLY feeling hungry, as in – rumbling stomach. Before I just ate and ate, the pill made me ravenous! LOL ^_^

  28. Interesting posts ladies. I will share my experience. I was on Ortho Novum 777 for many years only went off once to have baby. Got pregnant immediately. Had baby. Went right back on pill. I have always had receding hairline, inherited on my dad’s side. I will say throughout the years, I do remember having short periods of increased shedding, they were short lived however, and never had increased density or thinning however. Only reason I knew I was shedding is because I saw more in the brush, on the floors, in the shower, etc. But again, never “saw” the evidence on my head. Decided to get off the pills when I was 36, three years ago. I am 39 now. A couple months after getting off, I had major shedding. I could see a definite change in the texture and thickness of my hair as well as seeing lots in the shower, brush and just running my fingers through. Also I began having intense anxiety which was new. Of course, my intense anxiety is obviously mostly due to my hair loss, but it has been about other things too. I don’t ever recall having such “intense” anxiety before. Also, that comes in waves, its not constant, but when it comes it’s pretty bad and lasts for a few weeks then gets better and starts all over again, sometimes its about hair, other times it’s about other stuff. Docs want me to get on antidepressants for it. Anyway, back to the hair… the shedding over the past couple of years have slowed since the dread shed I experienced for a few weeks, months after getting off. Sometimes I think its getting better and then sometimes the shedding goes up again for a while. Strange. I would say I shed around 150-200 hairs still on average, per day. My hair does grow as I still get regular cuts and color.. however, my temples area and bang area are still pretty thin looking. No hair regrowing in the temples and the bangs are sparse, but they grow longer, just not thicker. I can see my scalp over the top under bright light and my part appears a little bit wider. I can’t help but believe that all this started when I got off the pill and all this is related. Also, I have lost about 10 pounds, my skin is a little oilier, my libido is gone, I have heavier periods and cramping like a teenager, but my periods are pretty much regular. I have been to doctors and derms. Had all my bloodwork, hormones, thyroid, tested, retested, and tested again!! I have used multivitamins, biotin, nioxin, sulfate free shampoos, nizoral and any other supplement I have heard would be helpful. Nothing has changed. My hair continues to be thin and I fear may be gradually, albeit slowly, getting thinner because sometimes the shed picks up a little and regrowth is so slow. I fear that discontinuing the pill has kicked in AGA, female pattern baldness, which is genetic and I do have it on my dads side of the family. My Aunt and Grandma both have extremely thin hair but they are 70 and 90 years old! Anyway, sorry for the looonng post just wanted to share my experience. I do believe the pill is evil for the most part, but for many years while I was on it I had an overall positive experience. Since coming off it… TOTAL NIGHTMARE! I am considering going back on it. But I am 39 and not interested in having any more kids. I know some of you ladies are just starting out with love, marriage and family so it makes more sense for you to stay off the pill so you can start your families. I would totally be doing the same thing in your shoes and would gladly go bald and wear a wig to have my baby again (or babies) A child is worth every sacrifice! 🙂

    If I do decide to go back on, I will try to remember this site and post an update, whether it gets better, worse, or just stays the same. Good luck to you all, hope you get the relief, results and balance we are all seeking!


  29. Wow it’s been nearly 2 months of shedding due to telogen effluvium (contraceptive induced hair-loss). I was already the girl with not exactly the thickest hair on the block. It’s gotten really thin around the temples the ‘ear’ hair, along my parting and fringed/bangs area. The density has dropped to 2/3.

    I read up that it can be 6 months onwards before it stops. That’s 6 months or more from coming off the pill, NOT 6 months from when the shedding begins (this often happens 2-3 months after coming off).

    I’m hoping since my REAL periods started into a 28 days pattern after 10 years of pill use very quickly that hopefully the stopping period for hair shedding will rectify too shortly.

    Secondly I work in a famous UK chemist/beauty shop. Went for an eye test. I’m now classified as short sighted with a light aversion. In other words anything over 2meters and anything over 2 meters and lit up (like LED signs etc)….I’m getting a blur.

    As I’ve said before I only complained about affected vision last OCTOBER the SAME time as I had IMPLANON contraceptive inserted in my arm. This blurry vision and daily headaches along with depressed anxiety caused me to get the implant removed JANUARY. To which I moved back onto Femodene. I had previously been on other 21 day pills (longest used was MICROGYNON). It was upon late June this year that I came off the pill. And the blurriness worsened for a bit straight after, but has improved to pre-detox pill levels but not gone.

    The optician can say all she likes about it just being one of those things. But if Femodene is a 3rd gen pill, and they warn us about 3rd gen affecting thrombosis and it seems to cause spider veins and headaches….WHY WOULD IT NOT AFFECT OR CONSTRICT EYES and damage them?


    My doc wouldn’t listen. I’m 34. My mum and dad (green eyes)got glasses at 50+. My two sisters (blue eyed) both wore glasses from six. I’m green eyed – which is stronger than blue eyes. And I’m short sighted at 34? It’s too much of coincidence that this appeared upon using IMPLANON.
    I’m very angry. And can only prey that my thinning hair and vision will somehow normalize. 🙁

    • Kelly, I can really truly recommend you and everyone in your case to try having some licorice extract / pills / whatever you can find. I have been taking it for little over a month (and truth be told, I haven’t even been very consistent in my treatment, as in I don’t really respect the 3 times a day schedule, and also I sometimes skip it for days and restart it after a week or so, whenever I remember and feel like it, which also gives my body a break from the extra amount of estrogen). I must tell you the shedding diminished dramatically in a matter of days after I started the treatment. And now it’s kinda like it used to be before the pill. As in, about 20 hairs at brushing, sometimes more when it’s dirty, plus what comes off during the day, which I can hardly notice. Sometimes I can see a couple of strands on the pillow, nothing big though, it’s just natural. I went from being afraid of even brushing my hair, cause there’d always be 100-150+ hairs, to brushing it every day and checking to see whether there’s an alarming amount of hair in the sink, and thank God, there isn’t. 🙂

  30. Hi all! I’m so glad I found this site! My dermatologist prescribed yasmin for acne when I was 14 and my fool mother went right along with it like it was the best decision to ever be made. I just turned 21 in June and stopped taking it last September. I felt the best I’ve ever felt in my life. But after 3 months I still hadn’t had a cycle and I was starting to get acne, so I started taking it again. I took it for 5 months and broke out pretty bad, now I have some light pockmarks from the cysts. I finally got completely disgusted with the synthetic hormones and my doctor’s incompetence and once again I discontinued BC at the end of May. My doctor didn’t even know the difference between the different generic brands of yasmin and told me I was breaking out because the hormone levels were different between ocella and zarah. So then I took accutane for 3 weeks, which caused a great amount of hairloss during week 2. Like I said, I got completely disgusted with the medical system after all of that. Right when I stopped taking BC (4 months ago), my skin improved dramatically. But then after 3 months, around the beginning of September, it got horrendously oily. Then the obnoxious cysts began cropping up. Now it’s back to where it was during round 2 of BC, my whole face is pretty much speckled. And…the hairloss. The accutane knocked a large chunk out, but since stopping BC I’ve just recently (month 3, as seems to be most common) noticed it’s gotten a little thinner. I had hoped for regrowth after the ‘tane. Anyway, some other side effects from stopping: could NOT stop thinking about sex for the first 2 months (literally fantasized ALL day), hair growth in the pubic region like I’m 12 again (month 3), hair darkening on the toes (wtf!), increased muscle mass (I work out twice a day, so I pretty much exploded like the Hulk in the month of September, haha), dark hair growth around nipples, voice lowering, boob shrinkage. Pretty much, quit BC and turn into a monster. However, other than feeling upset about my appearance, I feel sooooo much more buoyant and jovial.

    Just thought I’d share the changes I’ve been going through. Isn’t it great to be a woman!? Haha. I really love how positive this post is. I was perusing the internet and starting to think I’d go completely bald within the year from everything I was reading. Thanks SO MUCH for mentioning the naturopathic treatments, I’m going to try them and see if they help with the hairloss and acne. I don’t plan on imbibing anymore chemicals, but I may inquire about a topical hair growth treatment. If I do, I’ll be sure to post again to let you all know how it goes. Let’s hope this vile drug hasn’t rendered our endocrine systems unable to function!

  31. Hi Lane,
    I will consider that.

    I’m going to get a collagen supplement to help with my sore joints (I’m hypermobile – a protein problem that makes me a painful double jointed person – so for example my period and lax hip joints from estrogen get very LAX during PMT). Collagen is also what eyes and hair are also made from. Generally I think my body needs it.

    Secondly Silica is also good for hair growth. I’m finishing my usual mineral & vit supplement – and thinking of buying one that has collagen in it. And take silica on the side.

    I will go look up and check out Boots and Holland & Barrett’s for the Licorice. My mum who’s a nurse says Licorice triggers something to do with testosterone. So migraine sufferers should best avoid it as it is a trigger for headaches.

    I’m moving into month 5. Keeping an eye on the hair-loss and the blurry vision. The boob shrinkage is fine. I was upon stopping the pill 9stone 11lbs. After month 4 kicked in – I’m 9stone. The spider veins disappeared. Still a bit weepy and anxious. Periods are on time. Cramps are worse than ON pill. But I’ll happily suffer those. The muffin top i gone. The cellulite is diminished. Skin is oilier, but month 3 it was at it’s worst (spots/increased oil) – much more balanced now.

    I’ll be back here periodically, I’ll let you know how the licorice works.

  32. Hey Ash,

    So Ive been noticing some hair loss, and I understand it’s a process that may happen after getting off the pill. It will probably take some time for my hair to regrow back to its normal volume. But in the mean time, do you think I should use some shampoo for thinning hair, such as Nixon?

    Also, just to give some updates on the slight cellulite that formed. It seems like it had dimished, although not 100% gone since I can still squeeze and see it. I think it’s less obvious when I sit down and cross my legs. I guess it will take longer than 3 months for me since it was probably way too much estrogen for my system…

    Let me know what you think.
    Thanks Ash!


  33. I am so glad I read this. I have been off birth control for awhile now, but I am still seeing side effects from it. Since getting off bc I have gained weight, have oily hair, oily skin, acne, and I have the most horrible pain before ovulation and my period. The reason I got off the pill was because after years and years of normal pap smears, I was suddenly having abnormal ones. I told the doctors over and over it was from the pill, but of course they disagreed and advised me not to stop taking them, but I decided for myself I would stop. After going through a coposcopy and a LEEP, I am three months cancerous cells free. I truly believe it was from the bc.

  34. Hi again! I’ve been doing a lot of research about this and I stumbled across this post in a medical journal a couple days ago, thought I’d share.

    So… taking birth control causes your body to produce elevated amounts of free testosterone, DHT (the bad kind), which is the smoking gun. I personally believe that the initial hairloss is from telogen effluvium, but the DHT keeps it going for several months thereafter. I also think the DHT is responsible for the acne, increased muscle mass, and weight gain/formation of cellulite. But I haven’t been to the doctor yet, so this is just my educated guess. I have an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist on the 15th. Hopefully I can get some answers! I will share with you all what I find out.

  35. Hi Ash,

    I was relieved to find this website. I started taking the pill when my now-husband (then-boyfriend) and I began dating, and I stayed on it for about three years. I never liked being on it–my boobs grew so large that I felt ridiculous, and my mood changed so drastically that I never felt totally certain that what I was feeling was real or a result of the pill. Then, some obgyn suggested I switch pills (I complained of no libido), and the result was an ovarian cyst… quite painful. The doctor, however, decided I had endometriosis and prescribed me the depo provera shot, but I was so fed up with not being listened to (I kept trying to discuss OTHER, non-hormonal forms of BC with no success) that I didn’t follow through with it. I stopped taking synthetic hormones altogether.

    The first month was horrible. I had symptoms I’d never experienced before in connection with my cycle… bad acne, extremely sore breasts, chills, nausea, weight gain, extreme bloating, and hair loss. It has been four and a half months, now, and I’m still not back to normal. I haven’t had a real period since early summer, and my boobs hurt often (I’m not pregnant). Luckily, though, the hair loss has stopped, I’ve lost some weight, and an anxiety I never knew I carried has lifted. I have no symptoms that indicate their “endometriosis” diagnosis was correct, except for mildly painful ovulation (which can also be a result of going off the BCP).

    I find myself overcome with anger, every now and then, though. None of the many doctors I’ve seen over the years told me what the pill would do to me… what it would REALLY do to me. None would listen to me, once I realized the effect the pills were having and wanted a diaphragm, instead. I get so sick of their paternalistic attitude.

    It’s vindicating to learn that this isn’t all in my head, and comforting to know that, over time, my health will improve. I recommend, like others, trying herbal remedies… I brewed a tea (which I called “feminini-tea”) for a while, containing chasteberry, cramp bark, and a variety of herbs meant to balance hormones and ease pain (you can find a few recipes with a simple google search). It helped quite a lot.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

  36. Two days ago I had an unexpected change. I’ve been off the pill since end of June. So I’ll be off it 6 months end of December.

    I had been filled with anxiety because of my hair loss since month 3. Wondering that how long after month 3 would it keep dropping out. Knowing full well that the hair growth can stop and replenish at earliest 6 months after first dropping (not 6 months from stopping pill). So I was expecting my hair to stop dropping in feb march if I was lucky.

    So I tentatively went to a hairdresser pondering a brown ‘do’ to make hair shiny and less tatty. Or a blonde ‘do’ that makes the hair fluffier and thicker looking (and lighter against the scalp).

    With my hair 1/3 less in volume and a tender scalp that tingled and felt every hair pull I was literally scared of getting my hair done EITHER way. Every hair wash up until now had been painful, loads of hair dropping out, painful loose pony-tails. I said I wanted to go blonde. Fearful of the tugging of the foils getting pulled out. The washing out of the bleach. A deep massage etc. And the inevitable blow dry. All the while the hairdresser was pulling wefts of hair out of the brush every 3minutes.

    Now almost a week later, I no longer feel the painful agitation and tingle of my scalp. No do I wince at every tug of my hair. The greasiness has lifted.

    I somehow think that the stylist must have tugged out the last of my dead-at-the-root hair. Cause I know hair dies prematurely with telogen effluvium, and drops out in ‘waves’.

    But I’ve been feeling great about my hair. I’m slipping my hands down the lengths of my hair and not getting 3-4 hairs out with every stroke. It feels great. I did not think for a minute that I would NOTICE the moment this would happen. Tying my hair up now is not so painful. Sleeping on my hair and getting it caught under my shoulder no longer makes me grunt with pain. And now the anxiety has lightened a bit. I don’t focus on my hair so much.

    Right now I’m off to get a silica or omega 3 based pre-natal supplement to get my new ‘baby hair’ off to a good growing start.

  37. I’ve been suffering with hair loss from BCPs too. I had been taking Seasonale for 5 months and didn’t notice any problems until then. After 3 months of being on Seasonale my dermatologist put me on antibiotics for acne, which can possibly interfere with the effectiveness of birth control. While I was on antibiotics my boyfriend and I used condoms, but there were two occasions where the condom broke. The second time happened 2.5 months after the first. I took the Plan B pill both times as a precaution. About 2.5 months after the first dose of Plan B was when I noticed my hair started falling out. This was around the end of August.
    After I noticed the hair loss my doctor switched me to Loestrin, and after doing research I discovered this pill is one of the worst for hair loss. So I quit taking all BCPs about a month ago. It’s December and my hair is still coming out. I’m not sure if it’s from the Seasonale, Plan B, or Loestrin.
    I did get my first period off the pill exactly on time so I’m hoping that’s an indication that my hormones are going back to normal. I keep reading stories about women who have hair loss after stopping the pills. I’ve been off of them for only a month, and I’m so worried that the hair loss will continue or get even worse. My hair loss isn’t noticeable yet as I started off with very thick hair, but I’m so scared that I will need to get some sort of hair piece if this doesn’t stop! I spend so much time worrying and feeling bad about this whole thing. It doesn’t help that I already had low self esteem and losing my hair is making me feel worse! I can only imagine how I’ll feel if I end up needing to get a wig.
    I can see new growth coming in already, so I’m taking that as a good sign along with my period coming right on time. I just hope this stops soon so I can feel like myself again and focus on other things besides my hair!

  38. My blurry vision still has it’s bad moments. I’ve already had eyes tested and I’m officially short sighted. Last October my vision was fine.

    I do believe that cause I’m also gluten intolerant, and this seems to escalate the blurriness even more. When I’m gluten-free for a few weeks I ‘see’ truly what my eyes are like. And they are still not perfect.

    I need to know that if my eyes do not rectify in three months – I need to put it to my doctor – has Implanon 3 year implant permanently damaged my eyes. Or will I be fortunate enough to have this seemingly uncommon (but actually common) symptom lift in time like Ash’s eyes.

    For the girl who asked. Both eyes are blurry. But I can definitely say one is far more fuzzy than the other.

    You know that mot contraceptive pills/injections and implants have warning that state should your eyes go blurry or get double vision you should inform your doctor straight away.

    I got the implant removed after 3 months of insertion as the progesterone ONLY implant did not like me. I was anxious, depressed, weepy, dried out, sexless, etc etc.

    Since I’ve stopped all pills I went on after I came off the implant. Withdrawal: Blurry vision lifted a little. Sick and nauseous at first. But sex drive came back very quickly, my body hydrated better, lost weight, lost appetite, mood lifted.

    3 months later whilst feeling quite good, the blurriness is still here, the hair dropped out.

    Nearly 6 months later. Hair stopped dropping. Periods started 1 month after the 1 FAKE period on stopping. Reviewing the eyes. Feeling less asexual and more NORMAL.

    Trust me when I ay I will to continue to visit here to let you know my progress. Take care ladies.x

  39. Hi ladies, it really is encouraging and helpful to find a website that doesnt have an incredibly nerve wracking and negative energy to it. I am looking for hope and this is why I am writing. Ash, your description of your symptoms sounded like as if I was hearing myself talk. I have had all those and more and its been 4 going on 5 months since Ive been off the pill which i was on for twelve years. Ugh. I was wondering if you could give me an update on how your doing now? is the acne any better? Have you gained back your healthy weight? Do you feel confident again? its really hard to find success stories on the internet so it would nice to know I wont be looking awful and sick forever. thanks xoox

    • Dee, I apologize for my late response. I’ve been off birth control for a little over a year now, and I feel great! I definitely have more energy and rarely ever get headaches. 🙂 The only symptom that continues to seriously bother me is my hormonal acne. I’ve learned helpful ways to deal with it and lesson it over the months. I’m sure that it’s not only because of my methods, but also, my hormones are beginning to balance themselves out.

      My weight hasn’t changed much since month 3 or 4 of going off birth control. I’d say that it’s a healthy weight for me. It’s about what I weighed before I started taking birth control.The other problem I had – with my hair falling out – subsided several months ago. It’s still very thin, but I’m not losing a ridiculous amount of hair every day like I had been. Plus, there are sooooo many new hairs growing in, so I expect my hair to be back to normal after it grows longer. 🙂

      This detox from birth control was a long, rough, journey for me, but in the end, I think it was all worth it. I hope that my story gives you confidence that you will eventually get back to your normal, healthy state. Stay strong!

  40. Wow! Great blog! Recently I’ve been experience some similar problems and I am now beginning to think it is all attributed to birth control. I’ve been trying to research different side affects and weigh my options on whether to continue taking it or not and after reading this I’m starting to lean towards not. I’ve been having some of the same symptoms as everyone else; low libido, fatigue, lack of energy, the blurry vision drives me insane, dizziness, and constant nausea. However, something that I haven’t heard anyone else mention is bleeding during intercourse? I’ve been on the pill since I was 16 and am now 25. With that said, I can’t remember what it’s like not being on the pill. About 3 years ago, I noticed that I would bleed during intercourse, almost every time. I’ve spent so much money on doctors visits to try to remedy the problem but they keep saying it’s because I have too many blood vessels on my cervix but they’re not telling me what is causing them. Accidentally, I went on vacation when I was supposed to start a new pack but forgot them so I went off the pill for a month and noticed I didn’t bleed once with intercourse. The moment I got back on the pill it started happening again. I went to my doctor and she told me to try the ring. This has caused major problems in my relationship. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

  41. This is all so eye-opening. I got on Yaz to help with hormonal acne. I was in my early 30’s and thought, “enough with zits already!”. So my dermatologist (who at the time I was ready to build a shrine to, I thought he was such a genius) put me on Yaz. Miracle! Overnight pimples go away. Clear at last. Problem though… My sex drive left with the pimples. I tried to ignore that little issue for as long as possible, but my hubby begged me to stop the pill. I finally had to concede that I was being pretty vain and selfish to stay on the libido killing drug, just so I can have perfect– and it was perfect– skin. So off I go. 6 months later I want to make a voodoo doll of that doctor. My hair is growing thinner everyday. It’s not just in the drain and in my brush now. I see scalp. My hair used to be do thick I would get charged extra when I got highlights. My ponytail is one-third of the size. I never wear my hair down because of how limp it hangs. Here is my fear. Looking at forums online, there seem to be thousands of women talking about going off the pill and experiencing hair loss… For YEARS. Can the damage to our health be permanent? I feel like I can ward off depression if someone will just assure me that this will stop eventually. I’m really scared.

    • Jillian, I don’t think the hair loss is permanent. My hair fell out like crazy for a couple of months after stopping bc, but it subsided after that. My hair is still pretty limp, but I don’t have hundreds of strands falling out every day like I used to, thankfully! I know the damage wasn’t permanent for me because I have SO MANY tiny hairs growing on the top of my head now. I never thought I would be so happy about fly-aways on the top of my head, buy HEY, my hair is growing back! I know it will take a while to look normal again, but it’s getting there!

      Give it a couple of months, and your hair should stop falling out, and start growing back (as long as you’re eating healthy and taking care of yourself). 🙂

  42. Hi Guys, Happy New Year.

    The baby hairs just keep on coming…I can live with the thinner ponytails if I know the bareness of the scalp is being ‘seen to’ by the new hair growing in, even if it is shorter.

    I went to get a smear test in December (that was a miracle in itself)…so I should expect results, hopefully negative as always in a week or so.

    Then I jump on the ‘coil’ train. Not the 5 year Mirena Coil because it’s still got hormones in. I will go for the more classic 10 Year Hormone Free Copper Coil. I’ve never had kids, but modern doctors techniques can insert them for non-child bearing women. The list isn’t too long according to the clinic nurse.

    I have other issues with my health. I can off the pill & implant to see what issues where left to deal with. I am gluten intolerant, HMS (Hyper-mobility Syndrome)and have Fibromyalgia (pain in the muscles and nerves) off of that.

    It’s nice to strip away the asexual and sexually depressed elements of the pill. Oilier skin ages I tell myself at the few extra spots. Hopefully my eyes will be less blurry in the coming months I tell myself.

    I definitely I’m lighter. In many ways, mood, weight, outlook. I’m so glad to be less frustrated in the contraceptive department coming into 2012. Plus I think the other half is sick of the rubber hats. LOL ^_^

  43. Thanks for the post.
    It was really helpful to solve my confusion.

    Occupational Medicine

  44. **UPDATE**

    Hi ladies!

    Hope you all are having a good start into 2012! ( Esp, you Ash 🙂 ) I took the suggestions that Ash gave me about dandelion tea and burdock root along with eating cleaner and more healthy. This has helped recover a lot from going off of BCP.

    My hair was falling out so bad around Apr/May 2011 that I could had two very noticeable bald spots and excessive thinning at my front hairline. I was so mortified, but was determined to beat this. To stop myself from being so self conscious about my hair, I just chopped it all off into a stylish short/pixie cut.

    Ever since, it had helped tremendously in concealing bald spots and giving the illusion of “more hair”. I’ve been monitoring my hair every month and I can say that it started to actually grow in Oct 2011 and now I have so many little hairs cropping all over my head. My two bald spots are slowly getting filled in too.

    It just takes time and your hair will eventually grow back. Don’t give up and be patient!

  45. Hello,

    I was on Orthotricyclen for about 8 years on and off and then switched to orthtricyclen lo for another 3 years. I went off of the pill approximately 6 months ago and it has been a nightmare ever since!! This is what I’ve been going through: lost 10 pounds and now I look like an starved skeleton, reduced cup size, severe jaw line acne, lost about 1/3rd of my hair so far, I had 2 full periods last month with 3 days of spotting in between, increased anxiety/mood swings, lightheadedness, foggy thinking, sharp shooting pelvic pains and I’m suffering from increased ligament laxity….it’s been terrible and I feel so unattractive like this. I want so bad just to go back on birth control because I know this will all go away but I don’t want to be dependent on artificial hormones for the rest of my life either. I’ve been off of birth control for 6 months now and it seems like the hair loss and jaw line acne is getting worse! I’ve been seeing a natropathic doctor for the past 2 months to help detox and re-balance my system but so far I haven’t really seen any results other than better digestion.

    I’m in need of some “quitting birth control success stories” right about now. If any of you have some words of encouragement it would be greatly appreciated!

  46. Hello,

    This is a great blog. I have been on birth control for just about 4 years and have been thinking more and more about stopping. I am 22, and as much as I love the convenience and not having to worry about pregnancy, the idea of having put artificial hormones in my body for the last four years is upsetting me.

    When I was 18, I had a serious acne breakout all over my cheeks/face. I went from clear skin to cystic acne. WIth months and months of no response to treatment, I was put on accutane and Yasmin. This cleared up my skin almost completely. Now I am still on Yasmin, however, now I have evidence of hormonal acne, with blemishes along my jawline.

    After having read all these comments about horrible acne occurring after 3 months off the pill, I am terrified that my acne from when I was 18 will come back to haunt me. If my skin is not clear on birth control, I cant imagine what it may be like when I stop 🙁 I am also concerned with hairloss… I just wish I was never put on BC to begin with.. I feel so trapped.

    Is it worth it in the long run to stop birth control? I keep telling myself it is, and that I will feel better and happier… but the thought of having to deal with months and months of misery and no self-esteem like i did when I was 18 is depressing 🙁 I am hoping to attend Naturopathic School in September, and I dont want to have to go somewhere new and meet all new people with no self esteem.

    If anyone has any words of encouragement, please do tell.


  47. Trish, the hair loss we suffer coming off the pill is exactly the same as women who have just had babies suffer with. It’s due to the massive change in hormones and in the case of pregnancy is normal. Pill withdrawal does the same thing as the drop in hormones after giving birth. Being on the pill makes your body think it’s permanently pregnant, hence the moodiness and lack of libido. Best people to reassure you are your mum or aunties asking them about the way the hair fell out and how it stopped. It’s not permanent, unless you have an underlying medical problem. When you come off pill you should go see your doctor about three months in to check your hormone levels. As for the blemishes or acne, mine returned building from month 1 to 3 and now my skin is leveled off and my skin is fine. Is my hair a bit thinner? Yes. Will it grow back? It already is. Is my eyes, skin and hair sorting themselves out? Yes. Is my libido back and my weight normalizing? Yes. Am I glad I ditched the pill to soon go on the hormone free coil? Aw hell yes. Remember every medicine has side effects on or coming off it. I know now that the downsides on the pill were worse really than the downsides coming off it and well worth it. All it takes is patience Trish trust me.x

  48. Hello all!

    I am 18 years old and have been taking birth control (ortho tri clyclen LO) for 3 months and i stopped yesterday. At first, I loved it , I had no side effects, could have sex anytime with no worries, etc. But then I noticed less energy, I needed a nap daily, and I could not get wet during sex…..I felt like less of a woman and not at all sexy when i was worrying about how dry I was during the act. Also, being totally obsessed with Google and researching everything, I noticed the link to BREAST CANCER, vitamin deficiencies, etc. Why would I want to deliberately poison my body? I figured my boyfriend and I would just have to deal with condoms because I do not want to ruin my health. I also noticed the problems women were experiencing getting off the pill after YEARS and i did not want to go through the same. I’m glad I’m off and I’m never messing with my body’s chemistry again!

  49. Hi,

    I’d just like to say that I really appreciate this post. First that you provide such a comprehensive list of your symptoms, before and after, with timelines. Second and more importantly, you continue to provide updates on your health. I’ve looked in many forums where everyone posts their initial symptoms but not one site I’ve been to has ever followed up to see if their symptoms got better/worse. THANK YOU

    As for me, I’ve been on Alesse (levonorgestrel – ethinyl estradiol) since last February and I plan to end it this month. On the third month of taking it I got headaches and really bad flu symptoms. The flu symptoms went away but every month after I’ve had pretty bad headaches and occasional eye flashes. Some months my headaches would have a pattern, usually appearing a little before or during my inactive pills, while other months it felt like I had them everyday. The headaches were so bad that some days I couldn’t go out at all. However, moving around and exercise seemed to make it better. I couldn’t take Ibuprofen or other medication for my headaches because it made my stomach hurt, so I had no option but to let it be.

    Now that I intend to stop taking BC I will try my best to keep a good diet and try herbal remedies to lessen the side effects of coming off it, especially the acne. It makes me sad that my skin probably won’t ever be as nice as it is now (before BC my acne was mild and limited to my forehead, but now I have absolutely nothing). But it’s very important to me that I stop having headaches and really hope that this will make it better.

    I will keep reading this post for updates, it’s great.

  50. Hello everyone,
    in August I left a message here, saying that I wanted to stop taking bc as soon as possible, because I felt like I was having a lot of side-effects from it. I couldn’t stop right then, but I’m back to report on what has been happening since I stopped taking bc.
    I quit bc in the beginning of November. The first week everything was normal, but I had some stress as to how my body would react to stop taking the pill after seven years. I took it continuously, for almost seven years.
    In the second week I was beginning to notice some headeaches, but to be honest, I can not state for sure that it was because of stopping the pill (I’ve always had headaches before, so I wasn’t sure). At the end of week two I had pains on the left side, and that was the indication of my ovulation. My breast hurt a lot in week three, and I also noticed that they got bigger (I always thought they would shrink instead of get bigger..but i’m not complaining..).
    And then, right on time, I got my first period. It was a real relief for me, because I was starting to think that the pill would have messed up my body, and that it would take me months before I would get my first period again after so many years…
    But I got them on time, and even better, I almost felt nothing. No abdominal pains, no headaches, just some pain in my lower back.
    Periods lasted for about a week, and then the cycle began again. By the second week my breast hurt more, and I can feel my ovulation. The second period was right on time again. By now, I have just had my third period. Only thing different now is that I did not feel my ovulation, there were only two weeks between the end of the last one and this period, and I felt more abdominal pain.
    It’s still okay, I just hope the pain won’t get worse, because the pain was the reason why I started birth control in the first place. Every month I would have a day (or two) that I almost wasn’t able to move or do anything.
    Except from the fact that my breasts got bigger, I have noticed some other side-effects.
    I’ve read a lot about hair loss here, but to be honest, I had that problem while I was on birth control, and now that i’m off, my hair is becoming normal again.
    Before I was on bc, I suffered from acne. Not a whole lot, but when I did get one, it was terrible… The pill never changed this for me, I kept having an outbreak now and then, and I haven’t had any since I stopped taking the pill. I was really afraid of reading here that people suffered from more acne outbreaks, but it seems like it can be the other way around too. I’m not totally acne-free, but it just seems less and not so agressive.
    Now I know that most of you will probably think I’m crazy, but I’m not liking the weight-loss that I’m having.. I’ve lost a lot of weight when I stopped drinking/eating anything with sugar in it (I’ve developed hypoglycemia, which I believe was caused or at least helped developed by the pill), and because of losing weight, I started having troubles with my blood pressure. It took me a year and change of lifestyle to adapt to being hypoglycemic, and dealing with my blood pressure, when I thought that everything was finally stable. Then last weekend I had a blood pressure drop, and although it was probably a combination of being tired etc, I found out that my weight has dropped again, which is probably caused by going of the pill.
    This evening I will visit my doctor, and find out if that could be the cause of my low blood pressure. So if it is, it’s a side effect that I would rather not have…
    On top of it all, I was planning on going off the pill for a year, to see how my body would react. Being single, that wouldn’t be a problem, but I met a great guy last month, and now I’m doubting about how things will go in the future. It’s still early to think about sleeping with eachother, but it has got me thinking about how I will solve this…
    I do not want to go back on the pill because of all the hormones, and the suffering I had to go throught for all those years (while not knowing it was the pill that caused it), but it seems like there are not many alternatives..and I do absolutely not want to get pregnant…
    I guess time will tell…but I wanted to give you guys an update on how I was experiencing the effects of going off birth control.

  51. Hi all,
    Just thought I would chuck my story into the mix. I had hair loss for the past 3 years or so, started with a TE shed due to stress, which never seemed to end. Did the rounds of Dr (they didnt care, said my hair was fine), dodgy trichologist, hair loss clinic, all giving the same story, its genetic, deal with it. I have been vego for 14 years and always had low end iron, and then found I had high copper (?!). Drs didnt know what to make of this….Finally found a trichologist specialising in womens hair loss, who on the basis of my tests found the BCP I was on (Diane, “hair friendly”) was raising my copper, in turn blocking my iron absorption, which for a vego is bad. Had to come off BCP in November 2011, and start comprehensive iron, iodine and D supplements. My sex hormone binding globulin was raised, meaning my thyroid was “depressed” (not functioning) all leading to a lovely comprehensive hormone imbalance.

    I am 2 months into the coming off pill/supplementation route. The TE shed has commenced for me, but also some regrowth due to iron supps. Its a strange time, while my hair def feels thinner (remembering I already had 3 years of thinning from hormone imbalances)it doesnt look as bad to me as it did in November when I was at wits end. Im practising FAM (as birth control) to get to know my body, and supplementing with herbal hormone support. Took me 2 months post pill to get my period back and with FAM I can tell when I start ovulating again.

    I am still in the thick of it with TE post BCP, hoping that I can get through this shed period and regrow my hair again. Something I have learned is that Dr’s, derms etc are very quick to put hairloss to a genetic and inevitable problem, whereas it is on a drastic increase and in younger women. It seems to me that having your body in a perpetual chemical pregnancy state throws out your entire hormonal system, leading to a cascade effect of problems. BCP can cause an “acquired” form of hairloss, as well as the TE shedding, on top of all the other symptoms (lowered libido, feeling less human emotionally, weight, etc etc).

    Sorry for long post, but its been a long 3 year learning curve, and I hope the end is in sight after this last little hurdle. Getting off BCP is best thing I have done, I was on it for 12 years, and feeling like I have only just opened my eyes! Just remember to fix all this damage takes time, the problem didnt happen overnight.

  52. Hi.
    I thought I would post my experience. I had been on birth control pills for 14 years when I went to a new doc to get a refill. During my exam, She felt masses on both of my ovaries. I was immediately sent down for an ultrasound and both ovaries indeed had “something” on them. I had been having back pain,insomnia,terrible mood swings, and a list of other things, but at the time I was working long night shifts as a new nurse and chalked my symptoms up to adjusting to that. No one was able to tell me what these masses were and I was scheduled for surgery a couple weeks after they were found to have them removed. As soon as I got home I started researching BC pills and immediately made the decision to quit taking them even though my doctor told me that I would now have to take birth control until menopause to keep the masses from recurring. When I woke up from my surgery my doctor told me that both ovaries had been covered with something called borderline malignant tumors. Basically slow growing cancer, but it does not usually move to other areas of the body. She said that more than likely they would return, referred me to an oncologist and sent me home. This was 6 months ago and since then my life has been a nightmare. I still refuse to take any form of BC because I KNOW this is what caused these. I have never had any any kind of health issue, I exercise and am a very healthy eater, and dont smoke or drink. Stopping the pills has thrown me into a terrible hormone imbalance. I am working with a holistic doctor now, but it is a very slow process. I am unable to work, I have had bouts of deep depression where I wanted life to end. I have days where I literally cry all day, panic attacks, hair loss, spotting, breast tenderness,complete loss of sex drive, foggy thinking, insomnia, terribly painful periods, etc. I have been doing lots of research on this because I am determined to get my health and my life back. Birth control pills have something called xenoestrogens in them. They can mimic estrogen but aren’t the real thing, so while they may end up taking away some symptoms a woman is experiencing, such as painful periods, in the long run they end up making them worse by making your body unable to produce its own hormones. xenoestrogens are also found in many other things that we use every day and the more you are exposed to them, the greater chance for imbalance and disease. PMS is not a normal thing. It has become a norm because so many women experience it because of constant exposure to these synthetic hormones. Here is a link that shows a list of some of the things to avoid.—chemical-estrogens-a205523 The list is pretty long. It is disturbing that so many things we use every day have this in it. I have recently cut out a lot of these things in the hopes of speeding up the recovery process. I know this is long winded, but I hope this post may save someone from the misery I have endured for the past year. The more we become educated about what we put into our bodies the better. Just because a doctor or pharmaceutical company says something is safe does not mean it is. Money is the main objective with these big drug companies, not our well being. Do your own research and go with what your heart tells you.

  53. can somebody post any postive updates??? I would love to hear someone say they feel normal again, thier acne healed…something. thanks!

    • I agree with Dee, any good news about acne or headaches how long it took go away completely or at least to get it under control would be great.

    • Its still pretty early into my detox but will give you an update and hope others chime in. I stopped the pill late November 2011. By just before Xmas I started the TE shed, no other symptoms at that stage. By Jan I was having the hormonal upheaval, got nauseated and paranoid (did about ten preg tests and drove my bf insane!). Didnt get a period until 2 months after stopping. I started taking a compounded herbal supplement to support pituitary/hormones.

      So my period returned, just finished my second one post pill and all seems fine there, other than shorter cycles at the moment. The shed is still elevated but not as massive as it was for the past 2 months (and some regrowth – i had hair loss on pill). Skin has a few spots but I am using proactiv to try and clear that up (I dont wear makeup pretty much ever, so just concealer on spots). Went through a period of super oily skin and hair before my first period, now I still have oilier skin and hair but not as bad as the withdrawal. So overall to date its been a bit of a rollercoaster but nothing that has made me consider running back to the pill.

      Bottom line – for the first time in a long time I feel cleaner, lighter and more in tune with myself. Like a fog has lifted. Hope this helps, will update further as I progress off the pill.

    • Hi Dee,

      I’ll post a positive update for you. I went off the pill in June 2011, after three years on it. At that time, I believed that switching between pills had caused an ovarian cyst (which burst)–I still believe this–and the doctors had told me I probably had endometriosis (based on pain in my left hip). They wanted to put me on yet more synthetic hormones, and I finally called a stop to it all. Anyway, when I went off the pill, I immediately gained weight, started losing hair, and my periods disappeared. The pain in my hip persisted.

      That was 8 months ago. Since then, my weight has fluctuated but finally settled at just 2 lbs more than it was a year ago. My hair stopped falling out (I have many little short hairs where it is growing back). A few weeks ago, I learned from a very good doctor that my hip pain is, in fact, a bursitis–not endometriosis, as the gyno thought (but I did not believe). So that was good news, because it is a fixable problem. Then, yesterday, the day before my appointment to discuss my lack of a period with a different gyno, I finally got a period! I credit vitex berries… I’ve never been so happy about that time of the month. So, that’s all of my post-pill issues resolved. A very happy outcome.

  54. Thank you so much! You have inspired me to get off the pill.. I’ve been thinking about it and you have helped me confirm that decision. I have been on it for 9 years. I am very into organics and holistic approaches to healing but have not gotten off the pill yet because after 2 years of taking it (7 years ago) it resulted in unbelievably severe, abnormally excessive acne breakouts that forced me into a deep state of depression. You don’t understand- it COVERED my face. It was beyond horrible, I can’t even put it into words. I couldn’t leave the house. I am thinking of taking the risk and getting off the pill anyway for my overall health and just see what happens although terrified.

  55. Hi ash,
    my name is kayla and I’m 21 I been on birth control for like 11 days and I think I have been getting blurry vision like you and anxiety too I will be planning to call the doctor and quit taking it. Could you let me know how you feel sense you quit taking the birth control.
    Thanks Kayla

  56. Hi,

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one! I have been taking brith control pills for about 6 years and stopped 9 months ago because of all the negative side effects I’ve been reading about and how it could be linked to cancer and decreased fetility (I’m 24 yrs old). I developed really bad acne on my face and back a few weeks after stopping. I started taking essential fatty acids and zinc supplements 2-3 months ago and it has slowly been getting better. I took me a while to realize that the acne was linked to having stopped the toxic birth control pills. Even with the side-effects of having stopped the contraceptive, I feel so much better now.
    Thank you for your post!

  57. Hi! I’m glad I’m not the only one who is worried or has questions and concerns. My BCP was RECALLED by Pfizer. My pack, that only had 2 pills left in it, was on the list. They apparently mixed inactive pills with active pill throughout the pack. This was LoOvral and it’s generic version. So of course my anxiety was going full force and there was nothing they could do. While I sit her possible pregnant bc I had BC that wasn’t active in my system, I also decided to stop taking it because at that point I had no alternative. My OBGYN told me to stop taking it, well duh, and prescribed me a new pill, new name. Well why bother now. I stopped taking it Feb 1. So it’s been two weeks only and I feel awful. I only had two pills left in the pack, so I got my period right away that following week as scheduled, but these last few days have been awful. Blurry eyes, headaches ( and I’m a migraine sufferer on maintenance medication for that), sore legs, my boobs hurt, my face is breaking out- I almost feel like I could be pregnant. I told my BF, I’m a little nervous- that whole month prior I could have been taking inactive pills and gotten pregnant and now I’m not taking any BC and going through this withdrawal. It almost makes you want to go back on the pill because of how you feel- it’s sad. I am not liking this at all. And I’m 28- I do not want to break out all over the place and the cramps and all I can do without- it’s amazing what it’s done to my body! And Pfizer better hope I’m not pregnant!

    Sorry this was all over the place- headache is going on three days!! In a sense I’m glad that the symptoms are normal bc then I won’t worry as much that I AM prego.

  58. Just come off ortho evra after only 5 days, the first couple of days I was fine then I started getting dull headaches, sickness, dizzyness, all progressavly getting worse, the last two days that I wore it I got two of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had.
    I’ve only been off it for around 10 hours and I’m feeling so sick, emotional, suicidal, anixious, dizzy, I have a sore throat, my chest hurts, my bones hurt, my eyes hurt!! I’m feeling worse as the day goes on.
    I wish I’d never put the stupid patch on.
    Yes birth control is, in theory, a marvellous thing but it is DANGEROURS! Pumping our bodies full of fake hormones is not healthy.
    Side effects need to be addressed more than they already are, not just “these might happen but oh don’t worry, they probably won’t” these medicines, DRUGS, need to stop being handed out like candy, doctors need to be more aware these things are f**king up out bodies!!
    Hell, the doctors/nurses in the uk don’t know a lot about the patch! Ive spoken to THREE serparate nurses about my worries and none could help me or answer my questions because they don’t know much because the patch is still ‘new’ in the UK,
    surely this is enough of a reason for warning signs! I feel like I know more than they do and they are supposed to be trained in this field!

    I’m hoping since I only had the patch on for 5 days these withdrawals don’t last for too long.
    Thanks for making this post!

    • Jenny,
      I’m so glad you were smart enough to stop taking the patch! I agree with you; I feel like I know more about birth control than any doctors and nurses I’ve ever encountered. It’s very frustrating, but at least we have own brains and the internet to share our experiences. 🙂

  59. Hey Ash thanks for giving us the update. I was just wondering, were you taking supplements to help you with the transition? if so, which ones? and are you still taking them??

    • Dee,

      I had been drinking 2 cups of dandelion tea every day, but now I just drink it on occasion. It supports functioning of the liver, and is supposed to balance out hormone levels. When I first started drinking dandelion tea after stopping birth control, my detox symptoms worsened. I felt sick (but I really wasn’t); my throat was sore and dry, I had increased headaches, and I had no energy. Normally you would think those are bad symptoms, but those just showed me how effective the dandelion tea was. I also started taking a burdock root supplement a few weeks after drinking dandelion tea, and experienced very similar symptoms I got from the dandelion tea (which makes sense because dandelion tea and burdock root are known to help liver functioning greatly).

      In addition to the dandelion tea and burdock root, I had been adding about a teaspoon of maca root powder to my smoothies every day for about 3-4 months, and then I stopped. There are no hormones present in maca root powder, but it is supposed to help your body reach a hormonal equilibrium, by telling your body which hormones to produce more of, and which to produce less of. Maca root is a supplement that should only be taken for a short period of time, from what I’ve read. After a while your body should be able to balance hormones out on its own. I noticed that while taking the maca root powder, my acne subsided. I also noticed I had a lot more energy, and my libido increased dramatically, a well. After 3-4 months of taking it, I stopped because that is what is recommended. I noticed after I stopped taking maca root, my acne didn’t worsen; so it seems like it helped somewhat. Do note that maca root has a very distinct, funny taste and smell to it.. As long as you don’t add too much to whatever you’re drinking, it shouldn’t be so bad. I recommend adding it to a pineapple-banana smoothie. The taste is hardly noticeable in that type of smoothie.

      I still drink dandelion tea on occassion, and take burdock root supplements 1-3 times a week. My acne hasn’t cleared complely but I notice that when I avoid sugar, wheat, and processed foods, my acne isn’t as bad.

      I hope this information helps. 🙂

  60. Thanks for the taking the time to fill me in Ash. Ive recently passed teh 6 month mark and still dealing with it all. Im looking forward to seeing how I feel in another 6 months. I just started taking a milk thislte supplement to help my liver and i make sure to drink only lemon water to help. It really does help to hear the progress youve made! As you can see there are many of us in the same boat!
    thanks 🙂

  61. Hey everyone! My name is Jillian, and I posted some time ago about hair loss I was suffering after getting off Yaz. First, let me tell you h

  62. Jillian you left me curious!? lol

  63. To the author of this website (sorry I didn’t catch your name), I see that you experience muscle twitches from birth control and so have I! BUT, I also get leg cramps REALLY easily when I workout or if I’m doing a normal daily activity and I stretch my leg the wrong way 🙁 did you have these problems too and did these problems go away after you got off the pill? After 6 years, I’m getting off. I can’t stand these muscle twitches/tightness/weakness anymore 🙁

    • Jackie, now that you mention it: I did have cramping in my feet quite often when I was on birth control. I’ve been off birth control for almost a year and half now, and I don’t think I’ve had a foot cramp since then.

  64. Wow, I’m really floored by my experience since going off pills a month and a half ago. I’m 38, and I’ve been on Ortho Novum 7/7/7, then Trivora, for 10 yrs. I finally decided to stop taking pills this year after deciding that the health risks for taking them this long are too high, and my fiance agreed to a vasectomy. I guess I had a medium to moderately high sex drive before taking pills, which dwindled over the years to the point that I would only be in the mood immediately after my period, before completing the first week of active pills. Any other time required a lot of effort on my part to even perform the act, and I never enjoyed it much, which dismayed and frustrated my honey. He is a boob man, and I couldn’t even stand it for him to touch me because they were always sore. I never fully made the connection that the pills could be producing any of these effects. After I stopped taking them, the first week wasn’t too different except that the soreness in my breasts disappeared (they also shrank, and I don’t have much to work with in this department, but oh well….). It also felt like my overall circulatory system was working much better, and I wasn’t getting cramps in my legs during exercise like I used to. The second week, though…..oh my god. It was like being on viagra 24/7. I felt like one of those baboons with the funny noses and blue swollen genitals (mandrells, i think they are called). I was giddy with energy, and any okay-or-better-looking man became almost irresistible. That included 70 year old men, the bag boy at the grocery who must have been all of 17, my gay boss (luckily that feeling passed rather quickly), you name it. I’d go grocery shopping and get totally distracted by members of the opposite sex and forget what I was supposed to be buying. In short, I became just like my fiance 😉 But it has been difficult for me to concentrate on anything other than sex. Even abstract activities are incredibly erotic. I had to pack a box to ship out at work, and the four flaps of the box sliding past one another and fitting together perfectly was very stimulating. Of course, my sex life improved dramatically and my honey is much happier too. But here’s the problem. My fiance and I both participate in a sport that I will call softball for purposes of anonymity. There is a guy who has been on our team for years, but I never really noticed how good looking he was until a month or two before going off the pills. He is also one of the most athletic guys on the team. The guy is married too, btw. Back in the pill days, the situation was no big deal; he’d linger in my thoughts for the day and that was the extent of it. Well, after getting off pills, I’ve been obsessed about him, and I’m sure I’ve been sending out horny vibes in his direction. Last Saturday we were all at practice and I decided to go to a field away from his so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all of my whacked emotions. Everything was going okay until I was collecting balls in the outfield and he hit a ball towards me. I fetched his ball for him (no pun intended), and he was way more thankful than what the situation warranted, which flattered me. After our exchange, I started walking towards the parking lot to get something out my car, and he asked if I was leaving. I said that I wasn’t, and he said, “Oh good,” and then motioned with his hand like he wanted to touch me, but decided against it, and ended up rapping his hand against my bat instead. As he walked away from me with a big smile, he stumbled and almost fell, which was sort of endearing, being so athletic… Ok, so this interaction was no huge deal….but then a little bit later he left the field, while my fiance and I continued playing for about 20 more minutes. When we walked back to the parking lot, I was still thinking about him, but I figured he had left already because who lingers in the parking lot for 20 minutes? Well, I start sensing that someone is watching me, and by the time I see him, my eyes are locked onto his. He is standing in the shade of the trees between our car and his…the only logical reason he would be right there is that there is a trash can in the area, but it looked like he was just lurking there. He was off to the passenger side of the car (“my” side), which made it hard for my fiance to see him, and I swear to god, the look he gave me was the most intense that anyone has ever given me in my life…like he wanted to throw me in the back of his car and pick me apart right there. I looked at him for what felt like an eternity, I don’t know, 4 seconds, and then I turned away to throw my stuff in the back of the car and when I looked up again he was still looking at me… then he gave me a little wave and was out of there. I don’t know how my fiance missed it. He is so incredibly observant but he entirely missed it…The incident both frightened me and made me horny. It also left me feeling guilty, because I didn’t discuss it to my fiance. A couple days later, my fiance had an appointment and he mentioned that I should go to practice by myself, which I always used to do before, but I decided against it altogether. Why tempt fate? I’m confused about what I should do, if anything. I’m hoping my libido will decrease back to a more manageable level and then the situation won’t seem so overwhelming. It did throttle back the two weeks around my period last month. I really don’t think I would act on any of my feelings, but I don’t entirely trust myself because I’m so different than the “pre-pill” me and I am getting an incredible rush off the whole thing…Is this really bad?

  65. I can see people are still reading this so will give another update. Its now been about 4-5 months since I totally stopped the pill. From about 1 month post pill I was experiencing the massive TE shed ( I already had some hair loss before when I was on the pill). well It appears as though the TE is slowing down, from about 150+ hairs a day down to about 60 or so the past week. Hopefully it will continue to drop lower to normal levels. Can see little regrowths also.

    I am now onto my third full cycle post pill (not counting the withdrawal bleed). This was a bit rocky, took a couple of months to get my first period, then had two normalish/shorter cycles then the last one was 40 days. so I guess that is all still evening out. Oh and I still get super oily skin and some breakout coinciding with ovulation, but overall my skin has a few spots but nothing dramatic. Same with hair oiliness.

    Separately to this, I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance and hypothyroid. I believe these are all related to stress plus hormonal disruption whilst I was on the pill (12+ years)and led to the problems I had the last few years (fatigue, hair loss etc). Currently working to correct these issues naturally (read WITHOUT drugs!) So overall my body appears to be repairing itself after all the synthetic hormone damage, will definitely take time but I am feeling very optimistic.

  66. Ash: did you feel you had poor circulation in your legs? I feel like my feet/legs are always falling asleep!

    • I’ve always had poor circulation, but I’m sure it was worse when I was on birth control. I did develop some spider veins on my legs while I was on birth control, and that’s a sign of poor circulation.

  67. Optimistic myself. Shedding stopped ages ago. Baby hair is really growing in. Blurred vision is almost 100% again, I can see improvements (forgive the pun). Veins have gone away. Libido is back. I feel normal-ish.

    Went on the non-hormonal copper coil a month back, settling in nicely. Well chuffed that I came off the pill/implant etc. ^_^

  68. Hello gang, Im a 31 yr old chick, I have a 5 yr old mini me. I got the Mirena on Dec.20 2007, I thought it was gonna be great, not gonna have to take a pill everyday…whoohoo!!! everything was working out fine them BAM!!! im on the bathroom floor with paramedics around me, Im “coming to” speaking to everyone, saying hello, hi. IM totally confused as to what the hell happened. The doctors are describing to me that I just had a seizure. Im thinking to myself “where the hell that come from”…I’ve never had one in my 31 years of living. The docs wanted to medicate me and send me home.(i didnt want it). A couple more months go by…and here goes another one(daydreaming out the window)back to the hospital we go again. they hook me up to the machines to try and cause a seizure with all the flashing lights…NOTHING!!!….WHY because im not epeliptic…hhhmmmm. this time I take the med’s. Now im feeling tingling in my fingers, im feeling slow..a little stupid and cant concentrate at times, and forget words that Im liiking for while talking…very frustratng!!!!. Now a year later everything is cool then BAM!!! POW POW…I hit a car and a light pole due to having a seizure while driving(tear)!!! Then it hits me…all this CRAP starting after I got this DAMN IUD!!!! but these damn shitty ass doc’s wanna say its irrelivant??? really??? oh im crazy huh??? this thing is cummin out!!!! bet that!!!

    • I was on the pill for 5 years and i went off and everything was fine (convinced the pill wasnt the problem) then i got my mirena put in not even 2 weeks later i was at the dr dor severe sinus pain. the whole six months i had it in i have had severe sinus problems (i have no allergies) i went to ent regular dc who put me on antibiotics multiple times. i had anxiety attacks blurred vision and clumps of hair fell out. I have had it out for 3 months and so far my hair stopped falling out and i lost 10 pounds. My period still isnt back to normal. I know that thing totally messed up my body and i will NEVER recommend it to anyone. I feel your pain!

  69. Hi Ash & co,

    Just read pretty much every post on here which has left me both freaked out and hopeful, but overall reinforces my decision to go off the pill.

    I’ve been on various forms for pretty much 14 years straight, which thinking about it now disgusts me. Didn’t have too many noticeable issues with the first two varieties (about 6yrs each with a 6 month break), but since coming to the UK two years ago have been on about three different ones trying to find something suitable (Logynon, Microgynon, Marvelon) and its been a nightmare – weight gain (never had an issue with before), depression, crazy mood swings, crying at anything (especially if I’ve had a drink), anxiety (have had issues before but its got worse again). My fiance proposed almost a year ago (yay!) and instead of it being the happiest time of my life we’ve almost split up because of my hormonal mentalness. Luckily he’s amazing and we’re working through it, though putting the wedding off for a bit. Its completely ruined my experience in the UK and as a result we’ve decided to move back ‘down under’.

    Reached breaking point about a week ago and decided I wasn’t taking it any more. I’ve been off it for only a week now, and only just started to realise that it’s not going to instantly make me feel better. I’ve had flu-like symptoms since I stopped, bad enough that I’ve had to take two days off work (which as a freelancer is not a good thing!) – although it could just be coincidence, maybe I’ve just got the flu!. Just finished the ‘withdrawal bleed’ too.

    I’ve already noticed weight-loss and lessening of bloat/muffin-top which is great. I’m hoping some of the other things that I now think may be linked to the BCP might go too – dark under-eye circles, veiny/blotchy face, really dry skin. I thought it was just London doing this to me but maybe it was the BCP after all.

    A bit freaked out about the detox thing but at least I know what to expect. Mainly hoping the depression/anxiety thing doesn’t get worse or I could end up in the loony bin! Going to try and help my body detox by cutting down alcohol and other bad things too. Already on a gluten free diet but upping the fresh fruit & veg and cutting down anything stodgy and hard to digest (hopefully will help me get back to my normal weight too).

    Might try some of the herbal remedies suggested on here too as a preventative for what seems to be the three-month ‘shock’. Will let you know if it makes any difference or if I still get the acne and hair loss (wow looking forward to that!)…

    Can’t believe no-one tells you these things when you go on BCP. I’m just thankful my fiance and I aren’t in a rush to try and conceive – hopefully I can get my body balanced and natural first! With luck I’ll be happy and healthy for my wedding and not covered in spots with no hair… I think we’ll give it a year or two…

    Sorry for the long post but its a relief to ‘talk’ about it with people that have gone through similar. My friends that have come off BCP have all said it’s the best thing they’ve ever done and never mentioned any side effects, so hopefully it doesn’t happen to everyone. We shall see…

  70. Hi everyone!
    I’m new to this writing stuff on blogs but reading all of your stories made me scared but at the same time hopeful! I first took the pill just before turning 18 because of my boyfriend and the doctor easily convinced me at that time. I only took it for about 6 months because of my separation with bf but when I stopped it was devastating. I couldn’t deal with the depression, the hair growth everywhere and acne on my face, chest and back (which i never had before taking the BC pill btw). After a year and a half, the symptoms subdued a bit of course but I still had acne and I was still enourmously depressed. After that I had a new boyfriend and I just couldn’t deal with being depressed for so long. So I took once again the pill, but another one and now it’s been 2 years and a half and things are ok. Before taking the second time, I really didnt want to take the pill again but i just convinced myself that i would take it until i would want to have kids and with luck at that time things would be different. But recently I’ve been obsessed with stopping the pill i dont know why. I feel really bad and mostly stuck cause i have the impression i am putting poison into my own body but at the same time i am terrified of having the same symptoms again if i stop. Recently I have been reading a lot on internet, blogs and stuff, and even though most of the commentaries describe horrible side effects after stopping the pill making me really scared and most importantly reminding me of my past symptoms, but some of them were actually really reassuring, like those on this blog. So I think I’m going to take all my courage and this time prepare myself as well as possible psychologically for the worst (because the first time it took me completely by surprise!) and take herbal suff, vitamins and whatever to try to balance my hormones as much as possible during the withdrawal period. Why I am writing all of this is because I am astonished at the amount of complaints there are on the internet concerning the BC pills. It just really blows me away. And I feel so stupid because when I first wanted to take the pill I should have just checked on the internet and maybe it would have dissuaded me. But it’s pointless to regret now. What is done is done. But what flabergasts me is that doctors have NO CLUE of this! When I first had the symptoms after I stopped the pill, I went to see a lot of doctors to understand why this was happening and they were literally surprised. They didn’t understand and know how this could happen. And when you think that by putting a few words on google search and you find hundreds and hundreds of testimonies that shows clearly that these weird, horrible and unnatural side effects happen to most of the people who take BC pills. No one said to me this would happen, if the doctor would have said one thing about acne, depression, hair growth or hair shedding for some like you or whatever gain weight etc, I think I would have thought long and hard before taking it. All of this has really put some ideas in to my head today. If I get the courage and I want to but I have no clue where to start, I would like to create a movement or campaign against pharmaceutical companies and doctors who prescribe pills as if it were some candy. I think young girls should be more aware of what awaits them so that they can make clear decisions if they want to. I am not saying I detest pills because of course it has provided safety and liberty that women never before could obtain. I agree but to what cost? I just feel that people should be more aware so that they will not regret it afterwards or be completely taken by sirprise. Its just a horrible feeling because you feel cheated and at the same time you feel stupid and can blame only yourself. I really doubt that this movement thingy is that easy nor possible or else i would assume that other people would have already done that.
    Anyways ive written a lot, changing a bit the subject I wanted to ask you guys some advice. I ve read only in few places, namely one girl, who stopped her pill gradually, by chopping off pieces from her pill little by little and she did it over six months. She said she didnt get the horrible symptoms she had the first time she stopped. So i was just wondering if someone else went through the same experience and if it worked or on the contrary its dangerous to do so. Cause I really dont see myself asking the doctors cause I REALLY doubt she would even know. OK thanks a lot! 🙂

  71. The shot really messed with me. i was only on it for a year and here i am 5 years later and still feeling its effects… i now have chronic ovarian cysts and no period. (by some divine blessing i was blessed with a child 2 years ago however)

  72. Hey!
    I just stopped Yaz 10 days ago, after using for 20 months and i’m 25. i dont have acne break out, since i actually never had acne problem in my life, but i feel like i’m bloated, maybe 2-3 pounds extra, tired, nausea and sleepy. Do you know if the bloating + a couple of pounds piled after stopping the pill go away as the hormone levels adjust? Like you were saying it was after 3 months you have lost?

    • It will definitely take a few months for you to see positive results. I wouldn’t worry about it just yet. I’m sure the bloating, nausea, and tiredness will go away after your hormones rebalance and your body detoxifies itself. Just give it some time.

  73. I was glad to find this site. I was suffering from hidradenitis suppurativa (Google it, and you’ll understand my desperation) several years ago and found that Yaz was being used as a possible “treatment” for the disease. I didn’t need to be on BCPs (my husband’s had a vasectomy), but I figured it was worth a shot to not have those HS flareups anymore. Well, I went from a flareup a month (totally hormonal and cyclical) to one flareup a year…so, guess the drospirenone was doing it’s job in tackling my androgens. My skin was also horrible…oily, tons of acne.

    Anyway, after a couple of years on Yaz I started feeling really manic…depressed, weepy, cranky, pessimistic, etc. I thought it was time to get off the pill…so I did. I figured if the HS flareups came back, I’d cross that bridge when I got to it. I’m on my 5th post-BCP cycle (not counting the withdrawal bleed) and am starting to wonder if my hormones are balancing, or if I’m going back to how things used to be. Although I felt pretty good the first couple of months, the last month or so I’ve noticed my hair thinning, more falling out, and my skin is obnoxiously oily. I look old. I’ve also bloated up all the time…not just post-ovulation. I’ve been tracking my basal body temperature and using ovulation predictor kits, and I’ve ovulated every month since going off the pill.

    The increased oiliness and bloating and loss of hair really has me concerned that my androgens are once again starting to get excited about being footloose and fancy-free. I’ve even considered saw palmetto and have an appointment with my doctor on Monday. But…now I’m wondering, do I just wait it out? Seemed odd to me that I wouldn’t have any problems off the pill at first and now things are getting worse. I would’ve thought the “jolt” of my body getting used to producing it’s own hormones again would’ve been worse at the start.

    • Oh…and I haven’t suffered a single hidradenitis flareup since going off the pill. I do have that going for me…but now I’m wondering if it’s coming.

  74. Hi Ashe,
    I tried to say Hello to see if the blog is working. I tried it last week but my message was blocked.
    First thank you for this blog. I had the same problem as you and this is my story:
    in March 2007 I took the pill for 2 months only, I did not feel well then I stopped it on May 2007. This what I felt:
    nausea, headeck, twitching, hot floshes (at the age of 30) itching and irritating skin, I had rash on my face, night sweating,panick attack, depression, diificulty breathing. I went to the hospital to check my chest but it was OK. My coleagues noticed that I had a sudden rash. I could not be outside when it was hot during that summer. My skin broke.
    It was dry then oily. I was so tired that I took off 15 days from my work. Icould not understand that time whta happening to me. during that period I lost weight and everybody noticed that. Now after 5 years, my body is recovering slowly. My skin is still brreaking even after 5 years. Do you have any idea how to help the skin recover after stopping birth control pill, and what did you use to completly detoxify your body from the birth control pill?
    Thanks a lot

    • To lolo,

      I was diagnosed with shingles and had the same symptoms you have had, I am 36 which the Dr thought was young, but I wonder if the B/C could of had something to do with it in the long use of it…

    • Lolo,
      I apologize for the late response. Work has been consuming my life! lol.

      I never experienced a rash after getting off birth control but it does sound like the rash is your body’s way of telling you that you have a toxic overload (possibly still from BC). There are several natural detox methods you can try. Here are some of my favorites:

      1. Drink (fresh) lemon water first thing in the morning every day. Don’t eat anything after drinking this for at least an hour.
      2. Drink Dandelion tea.
      3. Start taking Burdock Root. (This is a natural supplement.)
      4. Perform a coffee enema on yourself. ( )
      5. Start oil pulling. ( )
      6. Take a Bentonite Clay bath.
      7. Start taking Milk Thistle, or grind up milk thistle seeds and put them in your smoothie.

      I hope these ideas are helpful! 🙂

  75. Here is an update on my stopping Alesse:

    -Migraine headaches gone, almost immediately. Now they occur around menstruation, which goes to show that the headaches I had were hormonal. These headaches caused a lot of stress in my jaw and I developed TMJ, clicking symptoms, ringing ears, and they still persist but I don’t wake up with a sore jaw anymore. Hoping it will go away even more
    -same cup size but just slightly smaller now, almost immediately.
    -A little over 3 months the acne returned, the amount is regular as before I took Alesse on my forehead only (as it always was for me). It was not worse, it could be slightly better or at least under control. Forehead oily levels are same as before I took alesse. I did not have any major breakouts and the acne was not worse than before.
    -I still some of the emotional anxiety I had when I took Alesse, which started about 6 months in when I started taking it. I’m not completely sure the two are related, but if those feelings go away soon, I will be convinced that that’s what caused it.
    -After I stopped taking Alesse I didn’t take herbal remedies. I have seasonal allergies and the dandelion root tea I tried made me very itchy and uncomfortable. I know burdock root would likely do the same.

    All in all though, I am so relieved to be rid of my headaches. That is worth everything to me.

    • I also want to add that the headaches I get now happen maybe only once or twice a month, for about an hour. Before, I would get them minimum twice a week, but very likely I would get them more often. They would last the whole day. Sometimes I would go to sleep with a migraine and wake up the next day still with one, which is the worst possible feeling (to be unhappy that you’ve woken up).

  76. Hi! I just stopped taking bc 2 weeks ago after beng on it for 5 yrs and i am having break outs on my chin (normal- if you break out on your chin its cuz of hormones) but I noticed that I am having a hard time concentrating, headaches, am constantly napping, and scariest for me– i have blurry vision! Just 3 months ago I was tested and had 20/10 vision! So it is freaking me out that im seeing blurry. How is your eyesight now? I know you mentioned the blurrines.. is it back to normal?

    • My vision is now back to normal, thank god! Don’t be frightened by any of the symptoms are you experiencing.

      Be patient, and your vision should go back to its original state. 🙂

  77. Hi there,
    I can’t begin to tell you how much hope this blog has given to me; it was reading this that made me decide once and for all to stop taking the pill.
    I was on Rigevidon for 8 months; a few months in I began to notice a cluster of purple/redish veins on my thighs. At first I thought they were just ‘one of those things’ and got on with life but a few months after I realised that they had grown and I was also getting little thread veins on both of my thighs. Not only this, but my thighs were also really sore when you thouched them, therefore I used to freak out whenever anyone got close to my legs. I used to have a tiny amount of cellulite on my upper thigh which never used to bother me but I noticed that since taking BC it has worsened greatly and now covers the sideof my thighs; this, along with the veins has made me VERY self-concious of my legs (not great when you’re only 19 years of age and work out 5 times a week!!) I dread to even look at my thighs now and burst in to tears at least once a week about the situation. Anxiety also increaced when I was on BC & the PMT was ridiculous!
    I stopped taking BC last month in the hope of improving my legs. It hasnt been long so I can’t really tell you about any side-effects yet as the drug is still working its way out of my system but my first period was only a day late and I have noticed that my skin is a lot more oily than before.
    After reading that you also contracted spider veins and reading that yours faded it gave me great hope!! I’m just wondering how yours (or anybody who had also experienced increased cellulite or thread/spider veins) improved and how long did it take until you noticed a positive difference in your legs??
    Thank you for this blog and your advice. I hope you will keep us upadated as to your recovery and continue to give us hope.

    • Chloe,
      I am glad my post inspired you to stop taking birth control! I believe I noticed improvement in my legs at about the 3rd month of being off birth control. Since you just recently stopped BC you may not see improvement just yet, but I’m sure you will soon! Best of luck to you! 🙂

  78. Ash & Lane,

    Did your face ever clear and after how long after getting off the pill
    did it turned to normal? And when was it the worse after coming off the pill?

    • Lo,
      So sorry for the late response. Unfortunately I am still battling acne. 🙁 It seems to be worse now more than ever, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I live in Houston. It’s exceedingly humid during the summer here, and high humidity always makes my acne worse (unless I am on BC). I am starting to think I need to move to a city with less humidity. Lol. I refuse to put prescription acne medication on my face to avoid the nasty toxins taking a toll on my body and liver. I wish I had a natural miracle cure to share with you and everyone. However, all I can tell you right now is: patience is key!

  79. Thank you for posting this!

    I am just about 27 years old, I had been on birth control for about 4 years. And just stopped taking it a little over a month ago. My husband and I decided it was finally time to start having kids. 😀

    I almost immediately noticed my breasts getting smaller. My acne was almost non-existant on the pill, and within a week of stopping it… I started to break out. (I had moderate acne before I started the pill years ago)

    The most concerning thing after I stopped taking birth control was definitely the hair loss! It started 2-3 weeks after. I noticed it at first in the shower… my hair seemed to get tangled more easily, and I believe that caused more hair to fall out. My hair also seemed a lot more frizzy. Then I started to notice my hair brush getting filled with hair after only a few days. Not to mention when I’m done getting ready I look down at my shirt and there are hairs all over! (I have long hair right now so it’s extra scary because it looks like a TON of hair) I was relieved to read that this seems to be normal for a lot of women. I just hope this is temporary like most claim.

    If I am getting blurred vision I am not noticing it… as my contacts dry out and cause blurryness from time to time. (and I’m blind as a bat without them in). However, I might be experiencing the “brain fog” as you put it. I have been having trouble finding certain words… and feel really stupid when I’m trying to make a point.

    I definitely cannot go back on the pill right now, I want a child much more then I want to have thick healthy hair, or clear skin.

    Either way, this helped me out quite a bit… it’s nice to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Glad to hear everything is back to normal for you. 🙂

    Thank you!

  80. This gives me a little bit of hope. I stopped takin my birth control December 2011, so it’s been 8 months. As my anxiety and panic attacks are much more few and far between, I still get them, along with debilitating dizziness and dissociation. I’ve tracked my menstrual cycle since February 2012 in hopes to find a pattern. I know the week before my period can either be my best or worst. The week after my period is the absolute worst. The dizziness and anxiety really set in, and the week after that I go into complete recovery mode and live in fear of dizziness or anxiety. It’s ruining my life! I’ve seen a cardiologist, an ENT, and a neurologist. I’ve had an electrocardiogram, a CT of my inner ear, and an MRI of my brain. I’m supposed to see an endocrinologist soon. I’m at a loss. No anti-anxiety meds sit well with me and small amounts (way less than prescribed) cause havoc on my body. I feel very drugged, more anxiety, and aches all over my body.

    Many doctors think its all in my head and tell me the birth control couldn’t have done this. Of course I believe otherwise. I just want someone to listen, understand and help. Thank you for sharing your story and update.

    When my anxiety and panic attacks got severe it was actually my chiropractor who mentioned it could be my birth control. I stopped taking it that day.

    • Hi Emily,
      You should check that your adrenals are functioning ok. I came off the pill in Dec 11 also, and found that anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, nausea and a raft of other symptoms were caused by adrenal dysfunction. My thyroid was also malfunctioning. The adrenal, thyroid and oestrogen hormone systems are all closeley interrelated, and messing with one (oestrogen) can have dramatic effects on the others. Its taken me 7 months but I now have my adrenals working properly again and most of the symptoms I was experiencing pre- and post getting off the pill have abated.

  81. Hey!

    I came across your blog after searching google for inspiration that I will feel better someday. I was on Yaz for years and did fine with it until my insurance switched me to Ocella (the generic version). Biggest mistake of my life. It is NOT the same thing – I don’t care if people say it is. Ever since then (October 2011) I was dealing with increasing anxiety and had no idea what my problem was. I was also feeling really nauseous, and randomly developed a sensitivity to dairy. In late June 2012 I had to be a bridesmaid in a wedding in the middle of the forest (literally) and wouldn’t have access to bathrooms. I decided to “skip” my period by taking the new pack (which I had done before on Yaz many times) because I would have been on my heaviest day on my period. That entire weekend I was a total mess. Anxiety was through the rough and I just couldn’t calm down. I decided to google what was wrong with me and came across a bunch of women experiencing the exact same things, so I took my last pill on July 1, 2012.

    Coming off has been really difficult. I still struggle a lot with the anxiety and the depression is really taking it’s toll on me. I feel like I am literally going crazy and I just want this all to be over with. I see a naturopathic doctor who is helping me, but I know it’s just going to take time. I also have blurred vision at times and my glasses don’t seem to help at all.

    Anyway, one of the reasons I wanted to post here was because I have had acne since I was 14ish (I’m now 25). I tried Arbonne because I wanted something more natural, and it worked for me but its disgustingly expensive. So I turned to google. I found the Oil Cleansing Method and I will never go back. I have zero acne now. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it is true! Basically all you use is olive oil and castor oil to wash your face. I know it sounds crazy but it works! I also use a homemade toner made of witch hazel, lemon juice and water to get any excess dirt off. And if needed I use coconut oil as a moisturizer. I know you may think this sounds insane, because I sure did, but it works wonders! It took my skin about a month to adjust, but now it is amazing! Here’s the link about the oil cleansing method:

  82. I could have written this. scary. birth control is just plain evil.

  83. Hi Ash! Question for you, did you have an acne problem before the pill? If so, did it get worse after coming off or 100% back to prior to taking it?

    • Hi Coco,

      That’s a good question. Yes, I did have acne prior to taking birth control, and when I started taking BC my skin cleared right up.

      After discontinuing BC my acne came back and was much, much worse than it previously was.

      My skin has actually been clearing up over the past 2 weeks. I’m not sure if it’s because the humidity in Houston has toned down since summer has come to an end or if it’s attributable to my new acne treatment I’ve been using. Maybe it’s both. I’ve been using Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser, along with their Green Apple Blemish Clearing Peel. They are a bit pricey but I recommend trying both, or the Juice Beauty starter acne kit if you are desperate and nothing else is working. I’m really starting to love their products.

  84. Hello,

    Thank you so much for all this support group. These posts have been very encouraging. I was on ortho tri cyclen for almost 5 years and had many health problems. I had terrible acid reflux and had to go on prescription medications for it. I developed a benign cyst in my ovary and that increased my flow like crazy. That in turn made me anaemic (my haemoglobin was down at 80!!!!!). My appetite was ever increasing and so was my weight. Losing weight with any amount of exercise was impossible. My emotional state was increasingly unstable and I had no clue why. Initially, I thought it was the stress due to my studies, but my grad school was a subject that I love so much!!! I wondered what was pulling me away from it but never had any explanations. The only advantage was that my period was regular and predictable (not so before I started the pills). After 5 long years of going through this, I decided the only thing I have not tried was stopping the pills. I have been off the pill for over a month now. I’m happy to say that my first period arrived right on time. My acid reflux has reduced significantly; I don’t need the prescription medication everyday. I now feel like a fog has been lifted off my brain and feel like doing more research and diving into my studies. Wow!!!! Wish I had thought of it sooner! My appetite has been decreasing steadily over the last few days and I feel like I have lost some weight.

    I would like to add here that no doctor ever told me to try coming off the pill. They just kept prescribing more medicines and increasing the dosage to “cure” my acid reflux and anaemia. They kept saying that I probably don’t eat right and that is the reason for my weight gain. The internet websites are filled with information on benefits of taking birth control pills and are very vague about the risks involved. Most research papers highlight the benefits and report the terrible side effects as being rare and insignificant.

    It is my sincere hope that women come across this forum and understand what they are or might go through and opt for other methods of contraception. I must mention here that my husband has also noticed these positive changes in my physical and mental health and has been very supportive in my decision.

    Thank you all once again. Wish you all great health.

  85. Hello,
    I was trying to find someone with the same problems as me but I can’t seem to find anyone. I’ve been off birth control for about 3 years now and I still have birth control side effects. My periods are extremely irregular, I have crazy acne that I have never had before and when I mean crazy I mean it’s so bad it hurts. I now have a bladder problem. I frequently go to the bathroom like every hour of the day. This happened after I stopped use of birth control took about a couple weeks and then ever since I’ve had problems and my acne is actually getting worse. I’ve been to the doctor about my bladder and I feel like they are stupid because I told her it happened after the birth control and she wants to test for diabetes. Well its not that because I check my blood sugar all the time. If anyone is experiencing the same problems please reply or if you know of someone that could help!

  86. Hello everyone,

    I’ve posted here before, but wanted to give an update on how things have been lately.

    In November last year, I stopped taking bc, and was planning on living without bc for about a year, but then I met this guy, who I’ve been with since January, and since I do not trust condoms alone, I had to make a decision on how I was going to have safe sex..

    I started by trying the NuvaRing. They say that it contains a lot less hormones then you would find in the bc pill.
    Hoping this would work for me, I started with the NuvaRing on the first day of my periods. Everything went well in the beginning, so I had my hopes up and was hoping it would be so easy to use this in the future as bc.
    Unfortunately, I started having side-effects during the second week of my second nuvaring. I started feeling lightheaded again, felt dizzy at times, and I felt so tired all the time.
    I didn’t want to realize that this was coming from using the nuvaring, but then one night I had enough, and took it out. That night I felt like I was having the flu, I felt really sick and dizzy. But the next day..all of my symptoms were gone..

    Because of personal reasons, I wasn’t sexually active with my boyfriend at that time, so I had the time to think about what I was going to try next.
    Then someone from work told me about Cerazette, a bc pill that you also had to take continuously, without a stop week, and my periods would also disappear (just like they had with my first pill).
    Instead of containing two hormones, this bc only contains one hormone, and they also advice it for woman who are breastfeeding.

    About three months ago I started with Cerazette, and I was very happy about it in the beginning. No side-effects during the first month, but again, during the second month, I started noticing side-effects. I’m tired again, but I can’t sleep at night. I have trouble getting to sleep, and I wake up a lot of times during the night. No sign of not having my periods anymore, because for the past two months, I’ve had blood loss every day. Not much, really minor, but enough to be annoyed with it, and it affects my sex life too.
    Another big side effect is loss of libido.. I remember how I felt during those few months without bc. I had a normal libido, but since taking Cerazette, it has disappeared again, and I miss it..

    Sterilisation is not an option yet. I’ve talked about this with my boyfriend, and since we are not totally sure if we want children or not someday, we decided that I would wait and try other forms of bc first.

    Realizing that Cerazette is not the good kind of bc for me, I started searching the internet again. My boyfriend had already mentioned that maybe an IUD would be an option, but I never really heard anything good about them until recently. So I started looking for what options there are available. An IUD with hormones is not even an option, so the only one left is a copper coil.
    On October 6th, I’m having an appointment with a gynaecologist, to get myself an copper IUD, which is called ‘GyneFix’. It is developed in Belgium (where I live), and I will have it placed by the gynaecologist who invented it.
    This GyneFix is smaller then other IUD’s, and is attached to your uterus, so there is a minor chance of expulsion. I’m not looking forward to having it placed, because I’ve read horror stories about how much pain it causes etc, but I am looking forward to having bc without any hormones, and I won’t have to think about it for the next five years.

    I try to keep positive, hoping that this will finally be the perfect bc for me, because I realize, that if this one isn’t any good..I have no idea what other options there are for me.

    If there is anyone who would like more information about the GyneFix, or how I’m dealing with it, once it has been placed, please let me know.

    • Hello! I noticed in a previous post you mentioned that you were worried about hair loss after stopping the pill but for you, you were experiencing hair loss on the pill and when you got off it didn’t seem to be effected. That’s one thing I am worried about. I’ve been on Kariva for almost 6 years now and I feel like I’ve gradually had hair shedding more than usual and now I can tell it’s thinning. I keep reading of stories of women experiencing hair loss coming off the pill so I’m terrified that if I’m already having that when I go off if it will get worse, I swear I will be bald in no time if that’s the case. Anyway, I thought it was interesting you said you had some while on it. Are you still experiencing shedding or has it still subsided while you’ve been off? thanks!

  87. Hey i have all the exact same symptoms and they def got worse after stopping! I just got into month three and i can tell my period is still not normal so im sure i still have time to go. I was curious how long till you felt a turn around. like 6months or a year did you notice that more off the bad symptoms were gone? Im only at three and i have the worse headache everyday! 🙁


    • I would say that most of my symptoms subsided after about 6 months. The weird thing is my menstrual cycle was never abnormal after stopping BC, but I do know that some women experience irregular periods after stopping.

      The only symptom I am still suffering from is acne. 🙁 However, it seems to be improving with my new Juice Beauty acne products that I purchased 2 weeks ago. I just wish I could solve the problem internally.

      I’m sure your headaches will go away soon. 🙂

  88. Hello-

    Great post! I was on the pill for 5 years and in May 2012 I didn’t take my pill, that night I started to feel weird, when all of a sudden I started to feel hot and couldn’t really breathe, I went to the ER, I had a catscan done and blood work, they didn’t find anything. I now believe it was an anxiety attack, it happened out of nowhere! After that day I started to get migraines every single day! I did some research and found out you can get birth control withdrawals. crazy. Its now October 2012 and i still get migraines not everyday like months ago, also after I stopped the pills I get dry eyes, I have trouble concentrating, also nausea and some weird twitching, I have lost some weight which i did not want!. I don’t feel like myself anymore. Good thing is my sex drive increased, when before I did not want any lol, and my skin seem to clear up more. I cant believe doctors don’t tell you there’s side effects when you stop taking them! I should of known better. I will never take birth control pills again. I wish I can get back to the way I use to be. Hopefully we can all get better soon!

  89. Hey ash! Your blog is amazing and has made me feel much more confident about my body restoring itself after the pill. I’m only 15, and i was only 48kg when i started on Yaz about 9 months ago, but stopped about a month and a half ago, because I realized that my cellulite was linked to the pill! I’ve been exercising and eating reallyhealthy but it seems like its only gotten worse, will my cellulite really go away after a few months? It’s starting to make me really depressed.

  90. Wow! Thanks for writing this! It was exactly the information I was looking for. I have been on Loestrin 24 for 7 years. I am SO tired. I’ve gone to doctor after doctor getting tested for everything before one suggested I go to my obgyn and have my hormones tested. Why didn’t it ever occur to me that maybe the birth control was what is making me fatigued?? I went to the obgyn this week and am waiting for my results, but I have quit the pill for a week now. I feel awful. I didn’t think it was possible to feel even more tired, but I do. The doctor told me to give it at least a few months for my hormones to regulate. I was looking for information on whether people who are fatigued on the pill feel even more fatigued when going off it. It gives me hope that you feel better now! The doctor tried to talk me into the copper iud, but I opted for a diaphragm to detox from messing with my lady parts completely!! Thank you!!!

    • Ok so it’s been three weeks and not so bad at all. Maybe it’s phsychosomatic, but I have a ton of energy. I’ve painted 2 rooms, refinished my kitchen cabinets, and refinished my tub! After about a week and a half, I no longer need naps in the afternoon! I used to take one every day. I have been a raving bitch. But that hasn’t bothered me, just everyone else! I’m sure it will subside once I even out. I have been eating a lot also, but I actually lost a pound. Interesting, since I was on a low carb diet right before quitting and had lost 5 pounds. My daughter even told me she can’t get over how skinny I look. I had a lot of hair loss while on birth control, so I haven’t noticed any change there. I also have never had skin problems, so I’m good there too. I have had a foot cramp two times, which I never had while on birth control, but no biggie. So far, I am thrilled.

  91. This was awesome to read! I was on the nuvaring. For a year and a half. A month and two weeks ago I stopped. I had suddenly gotten chest pain, headaches nausea, dizziness, shivers, anxiety attacks, cramping and spider veins. I took it out mid cycle cuz it was so terrible. I couldn’t function. Before then I only had headaches. I still have not even got my period and its been 6weeks. And I’m not preggers. I feel better tho. I still have mild symptoms every day tho. But I’m taking vitamins changing my diet and exercise. It’s amazing that just being off birth control for a week, my chest pain is gone, and I feel mentally better. And I’m hardly getting headaches. But I have had terrible acne mood swings sometimes and gained about 5 pounds 🙁 but its worth it to feel better. I also feel like I have more energy.
    When I first went on the nuvaring I was so excited. But now I don’t think I will ever return to synthetic hormones. It just doesn’t seem worth it 🙁 good luck to all you ladies going off birth control or thinking about it!! And Thanx for this site! It’s nice to know you aren’t crazy and imagining your symptoms. Cuz sometimes doctors look at you like you are loony.

  92. Hey. Great information!! I especially like the positive outcomes as I feel I am getting worse everyday.. I am experiencing similar symptoms as above.. I went off birth control only 2 weeks ago, but before that had spent 2 1/2 months in about 110+ degree weather in the Sahara desert with no air condition which might have caused my birth control to go bad. I purchased a year supply as I am travelling the world and have been gone over six months (currently teaching in Thailand) but asked the doctor if the Bc might have been ruined by extreme heat and she said yes it’s meant to be stored under 75 degrees. Because I am in Thailand I couldn’t find the brand I was on (ortho tricyclen lo). So decided it was just time to give my body a break as I am not sexually active during my travels anyways. .I am 23 and have been on ortho tri cyclen lo for 6 years.. For the last 3 months ive had extreme hair loss, spotting between periods, acne, and I was losing my mind crying over anything. Since quitting completely I feel these symptoms have intensified…my hair is falling in handfuls (though can now see some baby hairs) I had my bloodwork checked and am fine.. Docs said its all stress and wanted to put me on depression meds (no way!)… This all links directly to not using birth control. I feel sick thinking of returning home to my family and friends and more importantly my boyfriend waiting for me bald and with severe acne 🙁 I am glad to hear these positive stories as I hope these problems will pass by soon (by march) when I am meant to go back home…

  93. Really great posts, thanks so much for sharing!

    I am 28 and have been off the pill for just under a year. I was on Dianette (to control my very moderate teenage acne) first, then Yaz (this gave me terrible yeast infections!) and finally Marvelon. I was constantly on the pill for over seven years. When I came off I immediately noticed I grew a small amount of hair on my upper lip and visibly more hair on my forearms. I also started shedding hair in great amounts from my head, to the point when I could visibly see the loss…I also went down one whole bra size. But on the plus size all my cellulite disappeared and my figure returned to normal. No more muffin top! I also psychologically felt better knowing I was not disrupting my natural hormones. Just witnessing these changes alone made me realise how strong the pill actually is!

    Within three months I felt very pressured to consider another method of birth control. My boyfriend HATES condoms and our sex life was really suffering. So I decided to go for the hormone free copper coil. I saw that some of you have mentioned this so I wanted to tell my story. And first of all, let me share that I have learned it is not ‘hormone free’ as the doctors tell you. The copper, which is toxic to sperm (toxic to what else I don’t even want to imagine) upsets your natural hormone levels. Afterwards I did realise when it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

    The insertion was slightly painful (nothing like I imagined, I thought I would be in agony), and I went straight back to work. I was aware of it for a few days, but after a while I completely forgot it was there. I thought, wow five to ten years I don’t have to worry and it is all natural. This is amazing! The only downside I noticed then was slightly longer periods, but nothing to really worry about.

    And then…..
    Within one month of insertion I developed a thyroid problem–a small nodule had grown in my neck. Within three months I developed persistent cystic acne on my face (but who knows, maybe this could be a throw back from the pill?). I also suffered from having zero sex drive, constant yeast infections and a really poor immune system. After eight months I felt really low and had no idea why my health was in the toilet.I NEVER made the connection.

    Eventually I discovered an article on copper toxicity and saw many other blogs and posts of women experiencing the same symptoms. I also noted that the only thing that had changed in my life over the past eight months was the copper coil. I had not changed my life in any other way–same diet, same job, same house etc…

    I booked an appointment to see my doctor the next day and had it removed. That was less then a month ago so will have to see if these symptoms improve. I am on a natural heavy metal and copper detox. I have sworn to myself to never again go on birth control. It is so disruptive to your health. I am just praying my acne will clear up now. It really is the most soul destroying thing in the world.

    I am not saying the copper coil is not for everybody but just make sure you do some research.

  94. Hi, My name is krista and I was on birth control for a year and stopped like three months ago. I noticed when stopping the pill that I was way off balance head aches, always tierd, bad dreams, hair loss, weight gain, loss in energy and acne. I had this feeling before going on birth control I went on for reasons like this except the hair loss and head aches just to put all my hormones in check. I lost weight on the pill and felt pretty good and I stopped by mistake. I forgot to go back on it after my period one month. And then I noticed it hair loss and I was feeling weird off balance but I decided to stay off but I’m not so sure anymore. And I’m hoping it really doesn’t stay this way. I have been thinking of going back on but I’m not so sure about putting things into my body that can one day hurt it. Any advice?

    • Krista,

      I definitely wouldn’t go back on birth control. You’ve only been off it for 3 months so you are still in the early stages of detoxing. Trust me, I thought about going back on it after I was freaking out about my hair loss and acne, but I am SO GLAD I decided against that and stuck to my decision. Your body doesn’t need synthetic hormones and honestly needs a rest from them. You are still experiencing detox symptoms and probably will for several more months. Please stick with it. It’s definitely tough going through the detox phase, but in the end, you will be so grateful that you went through with it. You will be full of energy and feel so much healthier in general.

  95. Hi!
    I’ve been searching the Internet for answers to what I’m going through because doctors have been no help. I started birth control when I was 16, I’m now 24. I’ve always been on a low-estrogen oral, but started having severe migraines around the same time I started the bc. As a teenager, I never thought to connect the two so I tried everything from ibuprofen, to excedrin. I’m also asthmatic and have severe allergies so I was always concerned about everything I was taking. I’ve been on allergy medicine since I was young, everything from Allegra to Zyrtec and they helped, but I had to take a large dose every day. So for years I’ve been on allergy medicine, migraine medicine, an inhaler and birth control. I hated taking so many medications, not to mention paying for them, and I’ve never known the cause of my migraines.
    Along with all those things, I get sick easily and feel fatigued a lot. Working on my undergraduate degree was really tough and there were days that I could not attend class because of the migraine I had, as well as not being able to focus enough to study or complete assignments.
    I got married last year and my husband is always complaining that I take too many medications and I never feel good. I’ve obviously never been a fan of feeling like crap either, or taking a lot of medication and knew it was time to change.
    I have had MRI’s done and tried every prescribed medication there is to help migraines, but nothing really helped. I have been seeing an ENT about my sinuses and have even had surgery on my sinuses to see if that would help. It hasn’t.
    A couple months ago I was talking with a co-worker and she told me about a holistic practice dealing with natural allergy elimination. A lot of people don’t agree, or don’t believe in that stuff, but at this point, I’m willing to try anything! I started going through these allergy eliminations and found out I’m allergic to a lot more than I thought! This technique deals with energy between your body and the energy in the allergens around you. It is simple, harmless, and I can tell some differences already. At the same time, I decided to go off bc and right my hormones. I think I am going to invest in some natural progesterone cream to help balance my estrogen out. The only medication I am on now is symbicort to control my asthma, but I’m hoping that by eliminating allergies, I may be able to live without asthma symptoms as well.
    Along with investing in progesterone, I am also going to start taking magnesium regularly, as well as B vitamins, mangosteen as a natural antihistamine, and of course eat right, which would include cutting back on gluten, dairy and sugar.
    The only thing I am continuously worried about is the migraines. I’m worried that they will continue even after all these changes. I have been searching for answers and experiences from those who have dealt with migraines, and gone off bc. I want them to go away now, but know that our bodies take time to heal. So how long will it take for these migraines to go away?!? I know there may not be a good answer, and everyone’s different, but I don’t want to be miserable anymore! Thanks for listening!

    • Hi Kassi,

      Sorry to hear about your migraines. If birth control is what is causing your migraines I would think they would go away 2-4 months after stopping birth control after your body has a chance to detox. Although migraines and headaches differ, I believe I stopped getting headaches around month 3 of being off birth control. Hopefully the same will go for your migraines. If not, maybe it is your asthma medication.

      Good luck. 🙂

  96. Hello ! Great blog here. I went off two different pills this year, loestrin and microgestin. I didn’t notice the hair loss at first, but after stopping the second pill this past may, I went through the bad shed for 2 months, starting 2 months after stopping. Now it’s been about 6 months since stopping, my weight dropped, breasts decreased, and I feel less moody. My skin is oily but that has always been an issue for me. Also, my hair seems to be shedding normally (under 100 per day). I see baby hairs too! This is my biggest concern. How is your hair doing now ?? My dermatologists were quick to write it off as genetic even though no one in my family has ever gone bald (just some mild thinning at most in their older ages)

    I’m so impatient, I just want my hair back 🙁 also I’m 26. I talked to my gyno about everything and she suggested i go back on te pill! Lol no thanks.

    • Abby,

      I have been off birth control for almost 2 years, and I am definitely no longer losing excessive amounts of hair like I was before. My hair seems like it has thickened up but I don’t think it’s still completely back to normal due to the slow process of the hair cycle. I can definitely see and feel a difference in my hair. I hope this information helps. You just have to be very patient. 🙂

  97. Thanks for sharing your experience. I went on the birth control pill when I was only 15 to help with my acne. It cleared up my skin but I put on weight and on one particular pill especially – Yasmin, got so much cellulite. I’m a slim person so was shocked to have it all over my legs and even my stomach! Switched from Yasmin to Loestrin 30 but that made me nauseous and light-headed so switched again to Cilest but that caused spotting all the time. I’ve now given up and come off the pill completely. I’m now 22 and within just a few weeks of saying goodbye to the pill my cellulite has almost completely vanished! I haven’t had a period yet though which makes me nervous and had some other PMS-like symptoms but I’ve heard that’s normal when coming off birth control. I can’t wait for my hormones to rebalance and return to normal, I just hope my acne doesn’t return. I was considering the copper coil as well but it seems that it might be best just to stick with condoms for the next few years before I start a family. Wish there was a magic hormone-free solution!

  98. OMG, thank god I found this thread. I’m miserable. I’m 33, after 18 years on ortho – this is month 2 off. While my skin is actually getting better, the hairloss is horrible, I’m gaining weight, I have indigestion for the first time in my life, and my sleeping pattern is so out of wack – I’m exhausted ALL the time. Thanks to my wonderful husband as he agrees my moods have been like a rollercoaster. I’m sorry we’ve all been going through this, but so glad i’m not alone – So I’m NOT crazy!!! I’m trying to eat well and exercise to make some of this subside and in time i’ll feel normal again – or whatever “normal” feels like.

    • 3 month update: Hairloss has finally quit, I’m feeling so much better and I’m sleeping again. I have expeienced increase breakouts on my chest and back, but very minimal. My skin got cranky for a few weeks but seems to be normalizing. I’ve dropped at least half a cup size and my weight is consistent. I can see all these baby hairs coming back which look crazy, but is a huge improvement. Also about a week prior to starting, my emotions are pretty crazy but quickly subside. There is hope… and it does get better… just takes time. Who knows what long term effects I will have or any of us… but i feel healthier letting my body do what it naturally does vs ingesting needless medications.

  99. What kind of improvement did you have with the dark circles under your eye?

  100. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  101. I recently stopped taking birth control. I’ve gone down 2 cup sizes in one month! Sad. I’ve also lost a lot of my hair. It was so thick and now it’s just thinning. Hopefully it will grow back soon. I’m definitely getting back to my average weight. I had put on a few pounds while taking the OCP and they are just falling off now. Hopeful that my body will slowly get back to normal!

  102. Hi ash ! How is your hair doing ? My hair loss was the biggest detox issue. Especially because it happened to me twice (I stopped two pills this year). I’d say I lost at least 30 percent or more of my hair. The good thing is that I see lots of short hairs poking through. How long did it take to feel a difference in your hair ? Mine feels so thin, but it has only been about 3 months since the shedding has subsided, and about 6 months since I stopped the pill. I’m so depressed over this ! There are horror stories of the hair loss being permanent on the Internet. I don’t want to believe this !

    • Hi Abby,

      Sorry for the late response. My hair is doing great now. I am no longer shedding hair like crazy every day so that’s great news! I would say it took about a year and a half for my hair to appear normal again and not look like I’m balding. lol. Don’t worry; your hair loss probably isn’t permanent. I hope that my story gives you some hope. 🙂

      • Hi ash 🙂
        Have your spider veins all gone now that ur off b/c?


        • Hi Nikki,
          Yes, most of my spider veins are gone and I no longer form new ones. I do still have some from when I was on birth control, but they have lightened up quite a bit and you would have to be looking at my legs very closely to even notice them.

  103. Thank you soooo much for writing this blog Ash, I realized from reading your first post that I needed to get off the pill, I had been on it for about 4 years total and first 2 years I felt fine but gradually things got very bad for me;
    horrible anxiety, I could no longer talk comfortably in front of my class for presentations and overtime even to small groups,

    feelings of depression

    no weight loss even though I was exercising tons!

    tons of cellulite which got gradually worse and worse

    constant bladder infections which I had never had before in my life

    painful reaction to condoms

    painful sex

    eye twitching

    Now I have been off pill for about one year and cellulite has decreased by alot (still some but has been a dramatic change in the last few months!! =) ), I have lost about 8 pounds even though I am exercising the same way as I used to!, I don’t usually feel depressed, I have had very few bladder infections, sex is no longer painful, no more twitching, gradually less anxiety ( still working on that ),
    I now have the copper iud and am soo pleased with it, I have heavier periods and get cramps and occasionally some acne but it is totally worth it, I regret ever taking the pill so much and tell everybody I know!

  104. Hello! I just wanted to ask how your hair has been doing? I lost so much hair from telogen effluvium after stopping birth control. I have not seen it improving much, but the shedding just stopped 2 months ago.

    Does your hair feel closer to normal now?


    • Hi Abby,
      My hair is totally back to normal now, and I couldn’t be more happy about it!

      • How long did it take before your hair started filling back in? It has been 8 months for me. I noticed it stopped falling out however it is very thin 🙁

        • It took about 2 years for my hair thickness to return to it’s (almost) normal state. You should try Avalon Organics, Biotin B-Complex Therapy Thickening Shampoo to thicken your hair in the meantime. It works really well. I add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to my shampoo because it’s supposed to promote hair growth. You should try that too. 🙂

          Hang in there!

          • Ok thank you. I will try those shampoos. I have also noticed acne on my back and chest, where I have never had that before. And…weight gain around my stomach. I exercise a lot…and can’t seem to lose it . So frustrating. I have lost everywhere else and toned up …but haven’t noticed any difference around my midsection.

          • I also had acne on my back and chest for a while after I stopped taking birth control. Both areas finally stopped breaking out after maybe 6 months of being off it. I do still have some acne on my face I can’t seem to get rid of. It doesn’t seem as bad as it used to be so I guess that’s a good way to look at it.

            I did not experience weight gain after I stopped taking birth control; it was quite the opposite. I lost weight. However, I’m sure there are others who gained weight after stopping like you.

  105. I’ve been on birth control for about 4 years. I’ve been esperiencing many side affects on different pills. First one I ever took was yazmin. That was ok with weight gain. I was extremly emotional. More then usual and tired to kill myself. I realized later that it was yazmin cause I wouldn’t have attempted that at all over a stupid reason to. It also gave me bad cramps in my legs. They were so painful! Everyday morning and night and now I don’t get them so I know it was from yazmin. I then then took sprintec and that’s we’re my weight gain took place. Very bad I had a high metabolism and I’m 21 so it could be that it just slowed down but it seemed right when I took sprintec. I Also got lines in my eyes and extremly bad migraines. I was very nasea. I couldn’t see when I got these terrible attacks. I did though get it on this birth control to (lo loestrin fe). It could be just a coincidence but it might of been in my system still though but was taking lo loestrin fe for 3 months. What I’m thinking of doing is getting off of it For a month or two and re set my hormones and see what happens. Another thing on this lo loestrin fe I see my mood been where I’m pretty moody and sensitive. I am not usually like that. I’m hoping that if I stopped it for awile and hopfully loose weight. Then after a month or two passes my body will re set itself and maybe I’ll loose wight and not get attacks. Then go back on lo loestrin fe and see if my weight stays the same and I don’t get the attacks anymore. I’m pretty sure that these birth controls are causing me to have all these side affects. It sucks cause me and my husband don’t like condoms. I’m not willing to try any of the substitutes they have out there besides bc. I defantly can’t afford to have a baby right now. I want to wait until I’m more settled. I’m also worried that lo loestrin might be to low and I get pregnant. I still don’t know if it worked or not.

  106. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users
    would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
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    • Hi Alissa,

      Sorry for the late response. I haven’t had internet for about a month and was in the process of moving.

      Yes, you may quote my articles. Thank you for asking. 🙂

  107. Hi all,
    I just posted a long comment and then forgot to hit submit!! So here I go again…

    I always had side effects when taking the pill–Ortho Cyclen Lo, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Tri Sprintec–such as nausea, fatigue, & headaches. So when my doctor suggested trying the NuvaRing since it is a different type of progesterone, I was agreeable. I put the ring in, and within 2 weeks I removed it because I didn’t feel myself, which was mid February of this year. About a week after taking it out, I began experiencing dizziness. The dizziness has actually subsided since then, but I still feel a little ‘off.’ I went to an ENT recently and she said it could be vertigo or Meniere’s disease, but is not sure. Next step would be an MRI. I am just becoming a little discouraged since it has been 2 months. I would think once it is out of my body it would improve!! But after reading this blog, I feel a little better and hopeful. I just wouldn’t think that it would take this long to feel better and back to my normal self over such a small ring inside my body!! However, reading the side effects of Nuvaring, dizziness is one of them. Before starting the Nuvaring, I hadn’t experienced dizziness like this ever before. If I watch my sodium intake and drink lots of water, it seems to help, but it is still a lingering feeling. Anyone ever feel this way after Nuvaring? Thanks for posting this blog. I needed somewhere to vent and not feel completely crazy!!

  108. Hi guys. I took birth control for about a week and a half and experienced killer migraines that i had never had prior to it. It’s been about three-four days since coming off it and my head seemed to be getting better but yesterday was the worst since. I was wondering how long do i need to wait before i’d get better, considering i didn’t take it for that long.

    • Hi Tay,
      Sorry for the late response. I probably wouldn’t be the best person to answer this question but it seems like it would take maybe a week or two for the migraines to go away. How are you feeling now?

  109. Thank God I found this blog. I have been on mycrogyen for 8 years with no real issues apart from a bit of cellulite which was always strange because im slim built. Then last month my dr told me that they had replaced mycrogyen with rigevidon because its a cheaper alternative but same ingredients. Well since then I have developed spider veins and thick green veins all over my upper thighs and calfs on both legs along with blue smudges on the sides of my leg. Ive also suffered high anxiety and emotional outbursts of tears when im usually such an upbeat person and my cellulite has multiplied immensely. I have seen 2 drs, both have said that both pills contain the same ingredients and that I just have very early on set varicose veins. This is very strange as there is no family history of it and the veins literally starting appearing within a month of switching pills. Also im 27 years old, slim and tanned. My legs were my best feature and now im hiding them under long trousers because they are beginning to look like road maps!

    One of the drs also tried to prescribe me anti depressants to help my mood swings! I am sure a lot of this is down to the pill and can’t wait to get my body back to its natural state even if it is just emotionally.

    Your blog has given me reassurance im not going crazy and hope that there might be some improvement ahead. I have a trip planned next month so I have two packs left to take and then detox can begin… 🙂

    Thank you so much. This blog has been so supportive. I know detox is a hard road but it just shows what we have unwittingly exposed our bodies to xx

  110. This blog and all of the comments have been so helpful! I was on Yasmin for about 3.5 years before my insurance switched me to Zarah. I was on that for 1.5 years and started to notice symptoms:

    Blurred vision, Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, heart palpitations, bad memory, brain fog, difficulty breathing, extreme moodiness, feeling of emptiness and lack of excitement about anything

    To fight the fatigue (which I had ALL the time) and emptiness (had for a little while each day). I started working out 2-3 times a week ( Jillian Michaels) and felt better immediately after the work out for a few minutes but it went away. I also started eating A LOT better.

    I was chugging along until I finally decided to go to the dr. I had tests done for just about everything. She told me that getting off birth control was something I should consider if none of the tests showed anything. She tested me for anxiety and depression. I tested negative but started to realize that I was depressed and I have really bad anxiety. I started my period the next week and things got waaaaaay worse. I cried for almost 24 straight hours. My poor boyfriend had no idea what to do. That was two days before I was supposed to start a new pack and I decided not to. I started taking notes on my symptoms!!! I was depressed for a few more days and after my period left came three weeks of elation. I was doing 100 times better and that creeping empty feeling that plagued me almost daily was gone.

    Then I got to around the time I should have started my period and all of my symptoms came back with a vengeance. I’ve felt like I’m suffocating for days, I’ve been moody, sad, and my eyes are SO blurry I can’t concentrate. I’m waiting for it to go away. Still no period.

    On a side note I’ve noticed my skin is way oilier, all over my body and I’ve had some creeping pimples. My hair feels oily around my scalp and I’m convinced my boobs are smaller.

    I use M2 for my skin. It has really good reviews on amazon. It was a bit expensive but worth it, although I’ve only been off for a month so we’ll see what happens when I hit the three month mark..

  111. I recently stopped taking Beyaz( about two months ago) after being on the pill for two years as my hubby and I decided to start trying to conceive. I have always had a very lean long body. Im 28 5’8″ and have usually weighed between 128-134… I recently have started gaining quite a bit of weight, only around my tummy. I look like im in between bloated and pregnant. I know im not the latter. I checked. Plus I just finished my second normal period since stopping BC. I work out regularly (4-5x a week) for a minimum of an hour at a time, have always watched what I eat, and in fact am eating significantly less than before. Ive always prided myself in being a very healthy person and looking the part. Whats worse are the dizzy spells I constantly have throughout the day. Simply kneeling down to pick up something off the floor makes me feel like im going to pass out; getting up from the dinner table knocks me off balance! I have never felt this way before, and deeply suspect the cause is my body withdrawing from BC ( nothing in my routine has changed in the past few years other than stopping the pill 2 months ago, plus the Dr says I’m “as healthy as they get”). So far these are the only symptoms i have had, although the stories about hair loss sound terrifying and am starting to dread this potential occurence… I”m pretty down and out about my body, esp around my husband who has always praised how well i care for myself ( and continues to encourage and love me despite this bump… No pun intended). Has anyone who has experienced this bloaty bizarre weight gain or dizziness found resolution after a few months???? I’d like to know if there is a light at the end of this tunnel…

  112. Hey Debbie! I posted a while back, I’ve been off birth control (beYaz) for about a year and 7 months now. Unfortunately, I still get dizzy spells. BUT, I have come to certain conclusions. I have seen every specialist imaginable. Cardiologist, ENT, neurologist, endocrinologist–everything. Everyone says everything is exactly as it should be. I feel otherwise. The ONLY thing I’ve really paid close attention to is my menstrual cycle. I downloaded two apps. One to track it, tell me when I’m ovulating, etc. the other app is a “horoscope” for my cycle. Based on the start date you input, it tells you exactly what hormones are falling off or dominating at a particular time give or take a few days since everyone is different. For me, I was really dizzy yesterday–progesterone was rising, it’s supposed to be a “feel good” hormone, it relaxes blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely and when it’s at it’s highest, your period begins. Because of this, you can experience low blood pressure–which can make you feel dizzy. I have a monitor at home, so I did check it. It was 88/59 whoaaa. No wonder I felt terrible. SO, the week before my period I make damn sure to have Gatorade around as well as up my sodium intake just a bit. I really recommend the apps–they have definitely relieved a good bit of anxiety I had about any sort of dizziness for over a year. You’ve been on birth control, the pill has been regulating everything for you, there is bound to be some new things you’ve not ever experienced. I’m still hoping I return to feeling “normal”. I exercise regularly, eat well, but I still get VERY moody, anxious, and emotional around my period, and I’m just overall very sensitive to fluctuations in Estrogen and Progesterone. I really hope this helps. I have more good days than bad nowadays, study your body, know what it’s doing. Sometimes the anxiety can cause dizziness as well. Good luck!

  113. I thought I was going crazy! I started birth control about 5 months ago, and stopped two months ago. I just did it for the trial period to see how my body reacted. It was horrible, I felt sick constantly and had extremely bad mood swings. Eventually it started to calm down and I only got like that when I was close to my period. However, since I’ve stopped……….for the last two months I’ve been super sick and having weird pains randomly around my body. My ache got worse and I lost weight, and I started to lose a lot of hair. Most places you read will say the symptoms should go away fairly quickly, so I started to worry at the two month mark. I have had my period almost completely normal twice since then. The first time fully off the pill it was a few days late, but was normal after that. So I’m not pregnant…….I was wondering if I should see my doctor.

  114. Hello! After much research and frustration from being unexplainably tired for TEN YEARS, I finally decided to quit bc. A few weeks after I quit, I had my hormone levels tested. My testosterone was a 6. Normal is 15-48. A year later, I just had it tested again and it is at 23. I am thrilled it has gone up and I do feel much better, although not fully myself just yet.

  115. Hi Everyone,

    I have been following many of the posts that you all have been so nice to share. Here’s an update from me….

    It has been over a year since I stopped taking BCP and I am glad to say that are only positive effects. I can feel myself going back to my normal cheerful and happy personality. I am definitely more confident and take more and more pleasure in my day-to-day activities. I have lost over 10 pounds without much effort and have better hair and skin texture. I no longer have a hidden bag of chocolates and have completely lost my craving for fried food. It feels really really wonderful!!!

    The main reason I am writing today: it is extremely dull and cloudy where I am…. but I don’t the slightest depression. I could not believe it as SAD was haunting me the last couple of winters but today I feel very positive about it. No idea whether BCP had anything to do with weather blues, but it seems to have gone away. I guess that fog has completely lifted from my brain and I am a happy person again. Who would have guessed it would made such a huge difference. 

    For all you wonderful women out there…. your doctor may tell you that BCP has no undesirable effect on you, but it is not so. BCP is a relatively new medication (relative to human history that is) and there is not enough research to prove that there are no undesirable effects. According to my experience, BCP can cause depression and it can be very serious. Hope this group helps more women like it helped me.

    Special thanks to Ash for starting this forum and keeping it alive to help us 🙂


  116. About a year and a half ago after reading up on how birth control can seriously screw up your hormones, I quit. I had gone to several different doctors and tried everything to raise my energy level. I was so tired from morning to night I could barely get through the day. I changed my diet, had blood tests, quit coffee, took vitamins, tried anti depressants, exercise, nothing helped. Right after quitting bc, I had my testosterone levels tested at the gyno. My testosterone level was a SIX. I waited six months before testing again. It was up to a 30. I still didn’t feel great.I was put on synthetic testosterone cream. A year later, I can make it through the day without a nap! I have good and bad days but NOTHING like the last ten years of hell I went through. No one understood how tired I was. My testosterone levels are over 70 now. I feel almost normal. I will be on this cream forever. It is not covered by my insurance so I pay $80 a month for it. I hate having to regulate my levels unnaturally but I will do anything to not feel the way I used to feel. If I could go back I’d never have started birth control.

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